It is wonderful to learn to help yourself to do strategic thinking by understanding the role of challenge. Many people believe they know how to think, that they are good at figuring things out. The truth of the matter is that most people are not good thinkers. They are not good thinkers because they think on the fly instead of according to a plan. No matter what you are thinking about, no matter what you have to do it is important to do strategic thinking instead of on the fly thinking.
As part of a series on strategic thinking I have written about what strategic thinking is and how to do it and the part anticipation plays in strategic thinking. This article will explore the part of challenge in strategic thinking. Before we begin, to look at the role of challenge, let’s review the components of strategic thinking.
Strategic thinking involves several different components. These components include:
- Anticipation – the ability and use of peripheral vision, the ability to think three or more moves ahead
- Challenge – the act of questioning, reframing, digging into the roots of a matter
- Interpret – being able to figure out patterns from multiple data sources
- Decide – the act of taking a stand, balancing sped and quality in making a determination
- Align – get all interested parties, all stakeholders with their divergent views to come together
- Learn – the ability to use failures and successes as resources, debrief and adjust thinking action to match changing circumstances
When it comes to strategic thinking, after you take the time to anticipate, to look around at the situation and try to look three moves ahead, it is important to challenge. This means in thinking it is important to question the situation, to turn things over in your mind and to look deep before you leap. The act of challenging, of trying to go beneath the surface is an important part of the process. It is in the act of challenging that we are able to get to the real heart of the matter. It is the challenge, the asking of questions to be sure you understand what the situation is and what needs to be done that leads to the best results, the most clear thinking.
Right now, take a moment to decide an area of life that you need to think about and start applying the components of strategic thinking. First, look at everything involved to make sure you have a clear idea of the situation you are facing. Look at all sides of the issue, don’t ignore any facet of the situation. Try to anticipate what will happen three steps down the road. Next it is time to challenge, question your initial thinking. Frame and re-frame the possible solutions to get the best option possible. This is the time to dig deeper, to look closer and to be sure you understand and know what you are facing. To be successful in strategic thinking, it is important to challenge, question and not to simply go for the quick answer.
In conclusion, it is wonderful to learn to help yourself to do strategic thinking by understanding the role of challenge. So, the question for you this wonderful day is do how do you challenge yourself when you have serious thinking to do?