Strategic thinking is one of the most important skills today.  It comes with its own language that new and aspiring managers might not be accustomed to hearing or using. Here’s a quick primer from executive coach Helen Baxter Southworth.

External scan means learning about the competition, it’s key players and the market forces that influence your business.  An internal scan is about knowing your own players, their strengths, weaknesses and personal motivations.

future trends analysis refers to gathering information to help you anticipate how the business will develop over a specific period of time, or a planning horizon.  Industries, companies and even departments may have different planning horizons, but they all benefit from the final strategic thinking phrase…lessons carried forward from the past.