It is thrilling to learn to do strategic thinking and to be able to interpret what you see while doing it. As part of a series on strategic thinking I have written about what strategic thinking is and how to do it and the part of anticipation and challenge in strategic thinking. This article will explore what it means to interpret when you are doing strategic thinking. Before we begin, to look at what it means to interpret, let’s review the components of strategic thinking.
Strategic thinking involves several different components. These components include:
1. Anticipation – the ability and use of peripheral vision, the ability to think three or more moves ahead
2. Challenge – the act of questioning, reframing, digging into the roots of a matter
3. Interpret – being able to figure out patterns from multiple data sources
4. Decide – the act of taking a stand, balancing speed and quality in making a determination
5. Align – get all interested parties, all stakeholders with their divergent views to come together
6. Learn – the ability to use failures and successes as resources, debrief and adjust thinking action to match changing circumstances
When talking about strategic thinking, after we anticipate – look around so we can think three or more moves ahead, after we challenge- question and dig into the roots of the matter it is time to interpret – to figure out if there are any patterns or lessons to be learned from the information we have at hand. When we interpret we are able to look at all the various data streams at our disposal and learn what they have to tell us. Some actions and ideas are crystal clear and easily understood. However most often when we do strategic thinking, we need to interpret the situation around us.
To the untrained eye, it may seem like a lot of work to do strategic thinking, but it is well worth the effort. It is worth the effort because strategic thinking allows us to solve the big problems we face. Strategic thinking is what helps us to succeed when we remember that if we fail to plan we plan to fail. It is well worth whatever effort is required.
In conclusion, it is thrilling to learn to do strategic thinking and to be able to interpret what you see while doing it. So, the question for you this thrilling day is, how do you interpret data when you do strategic thinking?