So you want to be a strategic communication adviser? Congratulations, that’s a great goal, and a rewarding job. But the big question is: What exactly the job and how do you get there?
What is strategic advising?
First I want to bust a big myth: You cannot choose to become a strategic adviser. It’s impossible.
Being a strategic adviser is not something you can decide to do yourself. Ever seen someone dance the tango by themselves? It’s ridiculous!
The successful tango involves both people working together for mutual benefit. Or, to put it in business language, the role of the strategic adviser is to help business leaders understand the implications of their decisions, be in step with them and guide them where necessary.
Being a strategic adviser requires someone else, usually a business leader, to want to partner with you. Partnership is in the eye of the beholder.
Clearly the specifics of the role of strategic adviser will vary from organization to organization, but the typical adviser role requires you to:
- Serve as a sounding board for senior leaders in the business. Help them think through the implications of their decisions and guide them when necessary.
- Play a strong role in strategy development for that particular business unit or division.
- Have a wide perspective to be able to see the business as a whole and the key imperatives that need to guide the decisions people make.
Easy to say, hard to do. But the good news is that you can quickly identify the skills you need and learn them.
What are skills required and how do I acquire them?
In my experience, strategic advising skills fall into three main zones:
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