Have you ever noticed how some people seem to have a plan and manage to make it happen despite difficulties and setbacks?
While others kind of meander along blown by whatever wind happens to blow strongest at any particular moment?
Either way can lead to personal and business success or to disappointment and frustration.
To Plan or Not to Plan?
Taking time out from a busy day to think strategically can seem impossible.
Especially if you're not entirely sure what strategic thinking actually is.
For us, it's a bit like navigating a ship. Strategic thinking is about deciding where you're going first and then plotting a course to get there.
Opportunistic thinking is about setting sail and letting the wind take you where it will.
With strategic thinking you may end up sticking to a strategy regardless of opportunities along the way; you may end up missing out on the holiday of a lifetime in some idyllic undiscovered location.
On the other hand, if you set sail without a plan you could end up wandering aimlessly or hopelessly lost.
The debate can be endless between the relative merits of strategic thinking versus opportunistic thinking.
With a good understanding of both, we can make educated choices and hopefully get the best of both worlds.
So taking a strategic approach is first and foremost about deciding where you're going.
Taking a good look at the condition of the ship and its ability to weather storms makes sense.
The crew are going to be a key part of the journey so getting a good idea of who you have on board and their abilities is essential.
Then you might want to get an idea of the currents, hazards and weather conditions along the way.
Once you have all that information you can plot a course to your destination bearing in mind that the best route is not always a straight line.
Taking time out from the day-to-day stuff to lift your head to look at the wider world and the winds that are blowing helps you to adjust your course and take advantage of those opportunistic breezes that happen from time to time.
If nothing better comes up you'll stick to your plan and hopefully arrive safe and sound at your destination.
Believe it or not, when you strip away the hype and scary language that really is all there is to strategic thinking.
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