Strategic thinking requires initiative, which is the ability to independently decide what to do and when to do it without relying on someone else’s direction for short and long-term impacts.

People who demonstrate strategic thinking take initiative to thoughtfully respond to current situations and are able to proactively anticipate future opportunities and challenges while ensuring a person directed approach.

It is understanding trends and issues, and translating these into ideas, advice and activities that impact various stakeholders.

Growth Levels

Takes initiative to respond to problems and opportunities

  • Recognizes and acts independently while considering the impact on others
  • Goes beyond normal expectations
  • Takes responsibility for their own actions and inactions and seeks to improve
  • Considers the appropriate timeframe of action
  • Seeks opportunities to support/implement person directed plans
  • Voluntarily takes the first steps to address immediate obstacles/challenges and take advantage of opportunities
  • Understands when to independently initiate a solution, or when to involve others
  • Liaises with managers, colleagues, family members and other community members as appropriate to accomplish goals
  • Uses knowledge of trends in community resources in supporting people with developmental disabilities to ensure people being supported have access to innovative and relevant goals and activities
  • Aligns personal work with organizational mission and goals in operational areas

Thinks ahead and plans

  • Uses professional judgement to decide/act when the situation demands a quick response, while using a person directed approach
  • Communicates and interprets the vision and goals to others within the scope of responsibility
  • Identifies who can provide support and asks for input/help as appropriate
  • Demonstrates time management with effective prioritization and follows up on progress to ensure task completion
  • Identifies potential future directions for the work area
  • Monitors their work and that of the team to ensure alignment with vision and values, and current/future trends in services and supports
  • Knows when to take a long-term perspective in addressing an issue affecting people who are receiving support and when to focus on short-term issues
  • Continually recommends innovative approaches and services

Promotes strategic direction

  • Evaluates plan to assess the gap between the current state and desired future direction and adapts as necessary
  • Is goal-oriented to produce results that lead to better outcomes for people supported and their plans, families, and community connections
  • Supports others to understand the goal and vision by providing the rationale and resources for them
  • Energetically and persistently promotes strategic objectives to create understanding of the importance of the strategy and vision, and of trends in the direction and priorities of the developmental services sector
  • Works with teams to set program/operational goals and plans in keeping with the strategic direction and/or vision of the individual
  • Facilitates contingency plans
  • Defines issues, generates opinions, and selects solutions that are consistent with the strategy and vision
  • Mentors staff to set strategic goals for their own scope of work and area of responsibility

Develops a vision

  • Considers future conflicting scenarios and opportunities and promotes leading edge practices and approaches to set new directions
  • Identifies potential areas of risk and liability, and proactively creates strategies to minimize risk while considering future outcomes
  • Takes initiative to ensure person centered systems within community, organizational, sectors(s) and societal levels
  • Foresees long term obstacles and opportunities and acts accordingly
  • Leads in the development of strategic planning and visioning
  • Provides direction and communication to encourage alignment with the vision
  • Continuously articulates the vision and strategy in compelling terms to develop understanding and promote acceptance/commitment among staff and stakeholders