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The Beginner’s Guide to Becoming a Business Strategy Expert

Nov 13, 2019

In the world of business strategy, mere academic qualifications will not get you through from the bottom rung through the toughest of the ranks. It needs a balance of communication, foresight, finely honed strategic skills, a deep understanding of business practices and terminologies, not to mention a constantly upgraded knowledge base. This becomes important in exponentials when you are applying for some of the largest employers in the world, The Big 4, for example. Consulting companies, technology companies, strategic institutions, think tanks and advocacy groups, all of them rely on sound business strategy talent to drive their growth and revenue.

The career path of a business strategy manager or consultant is flagged off at the associate level and can go as far as principal consultant in a boutique consulting firm, a hedge fund, multinational corporations with multiple, globally distributed operational business units, or strategic roles in large technology companies.

But let’s just pause here for a second.

Your efforts in developing your career in business strategy is as rewarding as any other high-profile jet setting professional needs alignment to the must have traits and skills. The other end is being trampled by more qualified peers in the stampede to the top.

As you go along, the skills that are largely considered the most important by industry experts to play an increasingly major role are:

  • A Highly Analytical Mind-set - Do you look at a problem as a list of possible solutions that are not being implemented in an optimal way? Do you clearly visualize roadmaps for new process with all probable bottlenecks in advance? A highly analytical mind-set provides logical and rational view to any situations that arise in an enterprise in order to overcome them. This is a key to being a strategy professional in business and in life. But business, mostly.
  • Intuitive Decision Making Capabilities - Constant orientation towards changing business scenarios, changing industry scenarios and key disruptive developments in the sector provide one with a flawless intuition about how they can propel their business forward and overcome hurdles. Accurate Intuition is often considered the highest form of intelligence, and this trait will stand you in good stead as a business strategy professional
  • A High Degree of Problem-solving Skills and Aptitude- The key to successful business strategy is to overcome obstacles and operational hurdles along the way. Problem solving skills and the aptitude to adapt to newer situations, at its most potent pre-tipping point, usually meaning earlier than competitors, empower business strategy leaders and business managers alike, to overcome problems and work successfully towards the strategic vision and goals of the enterprise.
  • Strategic Planning Skills- Strategic planning skills form the core element of a business strategy leader. Deep insights into the industry best practices, emerging strategies and processes, emerging technologies and their adoption rates go a long way in turning your enterprise from a laggard to a leader in today’s global business scenario. It's never too late to realize that we don't live in a society of silos and constrictions, anymore. Every business is dreaming of going global and business strategists who understand this element and have the ambition and foresight to see it through will shine. They are the ones most sought after by the enterprises of all sizes today.
  • Superlative Communication Skills- This forms the fabric of all business strategy. A supreme business strategy to overcome all obstacles and propel the organization forward comes to naught if it is not communicated effectively and efficiently across all functions of the organization, to every employee, and every individual stakeholder. This is one of the key roles of the business strategist in the enterprise.
  • Leadership- The ability to lead in judgment and forethought are among the key elements that define leadership. Every business strategist or business manager needs this trait to ensure that their team and their organizations stay ahead of the times. It is critical that they not only take charge in a crisis, but lead the entire cultural development of the workplace from the front towards a more productive and progressive one.
  • Proficiency in Understanding Enterprise Mission Statements and Terminologies- The universe of business strategy and business management has an entirely different lexicon from other functions. To be able to instantly comprehend what is being conveyed by senior management, business leaders, management consultants or any other stakeholders, is critical to personal development and personal branding as a business strategist who understands and delivers on the concerns at hand consistently.

As a business strategist, you will need to plan a strategic vision for the enterprise or the consulting company that you're working with, then plan a roadmap to achieve the goals outlined in that budget to most effectively reach your macro-level goals. This will include constant communication with regular stakeholders, most of them at senior levels of leadership within the enterprise. Depending on the size of the enterprise and the scope of your role, your business strategy profile will include critical thinking as one of its core values. As of this year alone, professional network behemoth LinkedIn has more than 11,600 openings for business strategy roles worldwide. From startups to already established multinational corporations, it makes sense for business strategy to be one of the core competence of an organization's success mechanism and be a mission-critical priority. Especially given the constantly disruptive world we are living in.

Over the last 3 years, India has seen a surge of startups and the never-ending stream of business competence is required across every sector and domain. To survive and thrive as a business strategy professional, it is important that you stand out from the crowd with the professional qualification that emphasizes your skills as a business strategy professional.

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