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It is wonderful to learn to do strategic thinking and to be able to decide something as a result. As part of a series on strategic thinking I have written about what strategic thinking is and how to do it, the part of anticipation, how challenge relates to strategic thinking, and what it means to interpret when doing strategic thinking. This article will explore what it means to decide when you are doing strategic thinking. Before we begin, to look at what it means to decide, 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 you start to do strategic thinking, when you start to think with a purpose and a plan behind your thoughts, the time will come when you have to decide something. To decide is to be active. When you decide you take a stand, you pick one option over another. Make a decision is not an easy process. In fact, it is often a scary process that takes time. However, when it is time to decide, when it is time to make a decision, you have to find the balance between taking time to think and not taking so long that a decision is forced upon you rather than made by you.
For some people having to decide a course of action is scary and hard. There is no way around that. It is scary. It is hard. However, sometimes, scary things need to be done. Sometimes hard things have to be done. When you have to decide you are by definition taking one course of action over another. When you decide things, some of those decisions will be right and some will be wrong. Do not let that fact stop you from making decisions. Instead, realize that upon occasion you will decide a wrong course of action and have to regroup and redo things. So what! Decide anyway. when you are doing strategic thinking, real thinking you must show up like a grown up and do it, period.
In conclusion, it is wonderful to learn to do strategic thinking and to be able to decide something as a result. So, the question for you this magnificent day is, what are you going to use your strategic thinking skills to decide?