The phrase "strategic thinker" always makes me smile. Sample question: "Is [enter name here] a strategic thinker?"
I wonder what it means?
Let me reword that. I wonder what people perceive it to mean?
To me, the act of inserting the adjective "strategic" is a pathology, and it's rather rampant in educational circles. We delude ourselves into believing that the insertion somehow alters the state of being of the noun itself, elevating it to some new plane of existence. Strategic thinker. Strategic plan. Strategic management. Strategic staffing.
Someone who is designated a thinker is someone who has a very well-developed faculty for thinking, i.e. for employing his/her mind objectively and rationally when it comes to evaluating something. Isn't that profound enough in and of itself? What a compliment! So-and-so is a thinker. Bravo!
But strategic thinker? What does that mean, exactly? Does it mean that the person thinks in ways that provide him/her with competitive advantage over another thinker? Or does it mean that the person thinks about strategy, generally speaking? And if so, what kind of strategy -- good strategy or bad strategy? We don't even have a good understanding of what strategy is, yet we are audacious enough to utilize the adjectival form as a moniker of distinction?