One of the challenges many compliance practitioners face when they move up in their careers is to move from tactical to strategic thinking. It is a requirement for any Chief Compliance Officer (CCO) to be able to think strategically as well as tactically but as you move up the corporate ladder, the strategic becomes more important. Strategic thinking is not something taught in law schools and in most business programs. Fortunately I came across a blog post on SpinSucks entitled, “Strategic Thinking in PR” by Gini Dietrich which laid out six steps you can take to improve this key part of your leadership toolkit. The six steps are as follows: (1) Anticipate; (2) Think critically; (3) Interpret; (4) Decide; (5) align; and (6) Learn.

Before we get to those six steps, we should consider why it is so difficult to make the move from tactical expert to strategic thinker. Dietrich believes it is for a couple of reasons. First, we tend to not to really define strategy and that vagueness allows it means different things to different people. Secondly there are not very many people can teach it adequately, which means not very many people understand it.