Open to Options

A recent tweet from @SirHendrix on Twitter correctly suggested that “strategic thinking is thinking in options, not being bound to fixed ideas.”  Yes!  Ironically, I would say the same about creative thinking.  Being open to options, open to possibilities, wondering why, asking “what if?” — all helps us think both more strategically and creatively.  

Sounds so simple, but it takes re-training ourselves away from the quick and easier, template, formulaic, fill-in-the-blanks way in which so many of us think, operate, write, make decisions, plan and manage.  

I work really, really, really hard at considering my options when making decisions vs. reacting with a knee-jerk response (though my two teenagers might say I need to work even harder…)   Years of experience, maturity and wisdom have certainly helped me come to a wide range of fixed ideas.  But, what if….?   What are we really trying to achieve and why?  Have I thought about….? What would Joe or Joanna suggest?  How would it alter my decision-making if I make the problem bigger or narrow the scope?   What’s the most optimistic way to think about potential outcomes, and what is the worst possible thing that could happen?   

We all need to rewire our brains so that we stop and wonder, and resist deferring to the way we’ve always done things.    Experience and accumulated wisdom are invaluable — but we are only at our strategic and creative best when we open ourselves to possibilities we haven’t yet considered!

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