Sainath's Advice on Thursday, November 24, 2011 :
To answer your 1st question - yes, you need to be technically sound. At the least, you need to know enough about the responsibilities assigned to you else you will become an ineffective manager. As a manager you should know enough to take correct decisions, if you are technically weak you will be heavily dependent upon updates provided to you by juniors who will soon detect your technical weakness. Over time, you will take wrong decisions and become ineffective.
For moving into design / strategy you need to have a lot of practical experience and knowledge. Typically, this will take some years.
Process = How to best do something to achieve optimum results
But this in itself is not enough, you also need to know WHAT it is you are trying to solve. In other words, you need to have a strong hold on the technical aspect of the problem as well. Else you may end up taking absurd decisions which will have far reaching consequences.