Charting the Future: How Strategists Connect the Dots for Success

By Mark Griffin

In our ongoing monthly exploration of optimizing people’s energy for impact, we delve into Strategist” teams. These teams represent one of the five energy-based proclivities identified by The GC Index®. Strategist-heavy teams perceive the world as a rational place and thrive on making sense of it by identifying patterns and trends. As with all five proclivities, this can be a powerful asset for companies if managed effectively. In this article, we will explore how to lead a Strategist Team to maximize their impact on the business by:

1. Understanding the Strategist Context:

Strategist teams are at their best when they have the time and space to analyze data, consider the big picture, spot trends, and map out the future. They are driven by a need to understand both the “what” and the “why,” with a practical perspective on what’s achievable. They prefer not to be rushed and aim to have a complete understanding, often conducting research and asking questions to fill gaps. They offer value to their Game Changing colleagues by translating possibilities into concrete plans and identifying the prerequisites for turning these possibilities into reality. They also assist in creating a roadmap from which operational plans can be derived, actions can be taken, and progress can be made.

2. Building upon the Team’s Core Competencies:

A Strategist team possesses three core competencies: Connecting the Dots, Simplifying the Complex, and Predicting the Future.

   – Connecting the Dots: Provide the team with the time and space to analyze data and identify trends. Grant them autonomy to structure their response with a clearly defined purpose and a general sense of direction.

   – Simplifying the Complex: Recognize the team’s need to understand the “why” behind their work. Communicate projects in a way that appeals to both their hearts and minds, enabling them to apply a similar thought process to their approach. Clearly outline any operational constraints that must be considered as they map out their solutions.

   – Predicting the Future: Consider integrating “what if” scenarios and scenario planning to promote flexibility in the team’s proposed solutions. Involve other teams to gain different perspectives on what we aim to achieve and how we intend to achieve it.

3. Building Cohesion with Other Teams and Cross-Functional Colleagues:

Strategists are practical and confident in their approach due to their ability to see the bigger picture. Therefore, it’s essential for them to articulate plans in a way that reinforces their purpose and provides clear direction. Moreover, allowing other teams and individuals to ask questions, be heard, and offer feedback is crucial. Failing to do so may result in implementing plans without full understanding or buy-in. PlayMaker colleagues, who excel in orchestrating action through others, can help identify the right people to involve in a conversation, as they understand people’s strengths and how to leverage them individually and collectively.

We can also turn to Game Changers to test the vision and direction against the possibilities we aim to unlock. Game Changers may identify new possibilities or offer a deeper view of the impact we have already identified.

Furthermore, bringing in Implementer and Polisher colleagues during the planning phase, as they are driven by action and progress, will help test assumptions and hypotheses about the future. This allows us to adjust our plans as needed, increasing the likelihood of delivering practical value.

In conclusion, Strategist teams have the potential to drive commercial value for a business by connecting the dots, simplifying the complex, and predicting the future. To optimize this impact, leaders need to intentionally establish the appropriate context, build upon core competencies, and enhance cohesion with other teams, which offer diverse perspectives to complement the Strategist’s approach.

For more information on how we support leaders and teams in optimizing their Strategist impact, click here.