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A strategist is a person with responsibility for the formulation and implementation of a strategy. Strategy generally involves setting goals, determining actions to achieve the goals, and mobilizing resources to execute the actions. A strategy describes how the ends (goals) will be achieved by the means (resources). The senior leadership of an organization is generally tasked with determining strategy. Strategy can be intended or can emerge as a pattern of activity as the organization adapts to its environment or competes. It involves activities such as strategic planning and strategic thinking.
Types of strategists by field
The strategy role exists in a variety of organizations and fields of study.
In large corporations, strategic planners or corporate financial planning and analysis (FP&A) personnel are involved in the formulation and implementation of the organization's strategy. The strategy is typically set by business leaders such as the chief executive officer and key business or functional leaders and is reviewed by the board of directors.
An AI strategist uses evidence and reason to make circumstance-dependent decisions that shape the development of AI towards a set of desired outcomes. The scope of AI development can range from within small organizations to global landscape.
A design strategist has the ability to combine the innovative, perceptive and holistic insights of a designer with the pragmatic and systemic skills of a planner to guide strategic direction in context of business needs, brand intent, design quality and customer values.
A political strategist is a multi-discipline strategist who works within political campaigns. Also known as political consulting, the political strategist will advise a campaign on a range of activities such as media, resourcing, opposition research, opinion polling and engagement strategy.
A sport strategist is a professional that performs scouting and analysis of the players involved in an upcoming competitive match. Sports strategists typically analyze film footage, organize video libraries, and recommend attacks and defensive strategies in order to capitalize on an opponents' weaknesses.
Working closely with investment managers, a principal investment strategist contributes revenue by providing principal investment analytics and alternative product structuring.
A banking strategist partners with investment bankers and capital market experts on corporate finance and capital structure analyses to identify and execute banking transactions.
Within the financial services industry, strategists are known as “strats”.
An IT Strategist develops an IT strategy that is aligned with the business strategy to implement systems to give business processes efficiency and productivity gains and therefore a possible competitive advantage.
Strategist as a personality type
Strategists are known to have an INTJ personality trait, based on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). The MBTI was derived from Psychiatrist Carl Jung theory of psychological types enabling us to have a better understanding of people's personality traits and what their strengths are as a person, although the research shows MBTI to be an unreliable measure of categorising personality types. It is commonly found[weasel words] that strategists are more prone to possess a combination of 4 specific personality traits, which includes Introversion, Intuition, Thinking and Judgment (forming the acronym INTJ). However, this combination of personality traits is known to be very rare among people, making strategists to be very sought after especially by major[clarification needed] firms. Dr. Vladimir Kvint defined strategist as a wise, disciplined, and optimistic professional with a strategic mindset, a vision of the future, and intuition. It is possible at times to find that the vision or ideas of a strategist may not be align with conventional ideas which can make it difficult for others to accept or envision.
People who possess a strategist mindset are generally capable of doing well in any possible field due to the various traits that they own. Strategists tend to follow a career path that challenges them mentally in terms of development, and seek to work with people who are in the same caliber in terms of intelligence and competency. As it is highly likely that people with a strategist mindset tend to be more single-minded and may not be appreciative of others' effort[weasel words], it is crucial for them to work in a suitable working environment.
Common careers that strategists tend to choose are:
- Project Management
- Research and development
Strategists can have a variety of backgrounds such journalism, speech writing, data analyzing, or telemarketing. People with a background of public relations or advertising can be hired as strategists because of their experience in market research and message delivery.
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