Switching over to strategic thinking

We've all got success routines. We do what we always do and it turns out like we intended. Sadly, we've also got failure routines that keep us trying in hopes that we could get a different result from taking the same approach again. Neither of these routines involve strategic thinking. All they require is "tactical" or "operations" thinking.

When we bring strategic thinking to our success routines, we've got to tolerate our messing with something that's not broken. We risk killing the goose that lays the golden eggs. Strategic thinking questions what we're intending, how we expect to get it, what we've got to work with and what's interfering with all that. We go from inside the box where we're playing by the rules to exploring outside the box where we play around with changing the rules. We switch from changes getting overruled by our need to succeed to changing being the whole point of strategic thinking.

When we find we cannot get into our strategic thinking, we're usually afraid of something. We are thinking in rigid categories, divisive dichotomies and literal reactions. There's no messing with the meaning, reframing the evidence or redefining the initial problem. We stick with the obvious in order to stay out of trouble.

When we can think strategically, we've cleared out our anxieties and apprehensions about pending threats, enemies and interference. We've freed ourselves to explore possibilities without shooting them down as dangerous or unrealistic. We've opened our minds to a panorama of fascinating unknowns. We're allowing ourselves to make useful mistakes and learn from the resulting consequences and feedback.

Strategic thinking feels very differently than tactical success routines. We are less nervous and more creative. We're enjoying the process as well as the results. We're learning new things and making more sense. We've changed our minds for the better and taken advantages of this realm of reformulation.

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