PRIDE: The anatomy of a strategist

Blog

With a background firmly rooted in planning and strategy, Claire Knapp, our Managing Director, knows exactly what it takes to be a strategist. In this blog Claire explores the anatomy of a strategist and the common traits that they share.

Planning is a kind of science, organising knowledge to create new thoughts and measurable models. But it’s also a kind of art, taking complex, conceptual ideas and delivering them tangibly. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what strategy is, because it’s not one thing. It’s lots of things all blended together and usually wrapped in a beloved framework. But inside most strategists, we tend to have a few things in common…

Not just a hat rack
Relentlessly curious. Interrogates the science, behaviour, clients, business, customers. Intelligence isn’t a reflection of what you know, but your capacity to learn.

Storyteller
Leaves people with an unshakeable impression of a guiding thought; something that’s going to stick
in their head and change their behaviour.

Predict the irrational
Layers emotions onto logic to get to the true driving force of a brand.

Follow your gut
Brave enough to take a leap from data to strategic opinions. And smart enough to measure whether they were right.

Cut the sh*t
Makes the complex, simple. So occasionally steps back, cuts out the bullsh*t and gets to the point.

Other people’s shoes
Must really understand people. As much an anthropologist as a strategist.

Sixth sense?
Studies trends and patterns, to consider not just what is happening now (and why), but what will happen next…

It’s all about perspective
Always trying to find a new way of looking at things. Searching for a different angle, a new edge, the brand can leverage.

We really listen
Teases apart what is said to get to the reality of what is meant.

Chip-free shoulder
Isn’t precious of ideas. Breaks apart and uses people’s feedback to make them better.

Hands-on
Rolls up the proverbial sleeves and gets stuck into a project.

At the core
Ultimately, always asks: what is the right thing to do? Builds ideas not because they’re twee but because they’ll make a difference.

Ideas with legs
Focuses not just on lofty strategies, but tangibly, tactically, how it can be brought to life.

Grounded
Grounded enough to know we can’t do this alone.