This article by Valeria Maltoni ‘The 12 Qualities of Extremely Valuable, Highly Paid Strategists’ provides an interesting insight into the skills of strategic advisors.
The skills she mentions are the following:
- Know which problem the insight can solve
- Have a broad and expanding scope of knowledge
- Understand the psychology of leaders
- Respect high-value experts
- Improve the person, not just the project
- Be fluent with language
- Be adept with varied tools and techniques
- Understand the power of words
- Know how to write and present
- Preserve the expert’s voice
- Work fast
- Work well
I find this list quite interesting, and in particular the statement “improve the person, not just the project”. It is something I have always felt, taking a coaching certification to enable this work on the client as a person in addition to working on harder stuff.
Certain skills make a huge difference when advising on strategy. And they are not about being better at strategy! A lot deals with interpersonal skills and asking the right questions.