By Rita Pagan

Strategic thinking is not only reserved for executives. It can, and should, happen at every level of an organization. Are you currently thinking strategically as you manage your projects?

I once had a director tell me in a review that I was one of a few people she had encountered at my level who used more strategic thinking than most of my peers. At the time, I really didn’t get exactly what she was saying. It was just part of how my mind worked, I guess. Now I understand just how valuable that trait can be and how much an organization can benefit from it.

The ability to think strategically is the most important leadership skill you can have – more important than your ability to influence, work on a team, and get things done. Here are some tips to help you think more strategically:

Observe not only what’s happening inside your organization but what trends are happening outside as well.

Network with peers! Attend the 2018 IPI Conference & Expo and network to your heart’s desire! Seek out those trends and connections that will make you think outside the box.

Speak up and ask the tough questions. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and challenge yourself and others. Get people talking!

Although strategic thinking can sound intimidating or time consuming, fostering an environment where strategic thinking is valued at every level paves the way for your organization’s success.

Rita Pagan is IPI’s sales and exhibits coordinator.