5 Methods Of Thinking For Effective Strategic Thinking

Herd Instinct

Most of us have been trained to think in a particular manner – the way every one else thinks. Hence we also tend to use the same processes everyone else uses. And we end up with the same conclusions our competitors made.

Of course.

If we all think in the same manner, through the same filters, with the same logic as everyone else, and as we usually do – our conclusions and solutions will often be the same as everyone else’s too!

Solution: We need to change our thinking pattern to get different results.

Get Amazing Results With Effective Strategic Thinking

Effective Strategic Thinking comes when we combine all 5 types of thinking together:

  • Structured Thinking
  • Visual Thinking
  • Filtered Thinking
  • Critical Thinking
  • Creative Thinking

Method 1: Structured Thinking

It is common sense that we can’t think things through if we let our minds jump all over the place.

Structure makes sure we do not leave out anything important.

Structure separates cause from effect.

Structure helps us avoid illogical conclusions.

Structure helps us to persuade and convince others to our way of thinking.

Method 2: Visual Thinking

Think visually means to see in our mind the success we want to create. Visualise the situation as if it is already solved.

Artists use creative visualisation to see the finished artwork in their imagination, before the brush touches the canvas.

Athletes see themselves completing the race successfully in their minds, well before the event itself. They see the start, each step they take, and crossing the finish line.

Method 3: Filtered Thinking

Applying filtered thinking to the data we receive allows us to sift through the information and look at it critically. We will not take any information at face value, nor accept all of it as useful.

Instead we will examine and question the information, to determine its true meaning. If irrelevant, we’ll simply discard it.

Method 4: Critical Thinking

We all have some form of biases and prejudice that influences our thought, behaviour and actions. Our decisions are often made based on selective facts or emotions. Such decisions may be costly to us in terms of money, time, health and effort.

Critical thinking is active thinking, not passive thinking. It is the art of analysing and evaluating thinking with a mind to improve it.

We don’t just accept everything we’ve been told or read. We evaluate and question its validity. We check to see how it correlates with other information we’ve gathered. We remove any emotion or biases from this information in order to form a dispassionate objective view.

Method 5: Creative Thinking

Most adults lack creative thoughts, because we’ve been told to be practical, logical and realistic adults. But these days, creative thinking is getting more attention at meetings where we are encouraged to “think out of the box”, “push the envelope” etc.

The modern day startup is usually a result of solving people’s problems in a creative manner. Especially those startups which disrupt their own industry – think Uber and AirBnB.

Putting It All Together For Maximum Impact

Without Structured Thinking – our minds will just be randomly running all over the place, or just running in circles.

Without Visual Thinking – we won’t be able to picture the future we want, let alone create it.

Without Filtered Thinking – we’ll be caught up in irrelevant issues that stop us from solving the real problem on hand.

Without Critical Thinking – we’ll tend to let our biases and emotions get in the way of good decision making.

Without Creative Thinking – we’ll end up with the same old predictable results.

All the above thinking methods work together to help us come up with exciting and innovative options to achieve our goals.

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