You may not need real data to have real ideas, but you do need real data to have real solutions. Because until it has been tested against the harsh light of reality, your idea is not yet a solution.
MORE IDEAS FROM How to be Strategic
It is the ultimate mental model for working smarter, not harder. It contains three distinct sections:
The Rollercoaster of Strategic Thinking is the best approach to take when you’re faced with: no clear answer at the beginning, very little data available throughout, and stakeholders insist on data(proof) at the end.
"Vision without execution is just hallucination."
This is the path that problem-solving activities follow when undertaken by people who believe that you need the facts first before you can envisage any answer. No data, no solution.
The big benefit of the Submarine route as a problem-solving approach is that you turn lots of unknowns into data, which gives you certainty regarding your eventual answer
It is the approach you take when you can’t really work out the answer right from the beginning and you’re clear that data is going to be sparse and unreliable.
You accept that you’re faced with a bunch of unknowns and that it’s all very chaotic. So you don’t waste time trying to turn these unknowns into facts. Instead, you quickly impose some structure on the chaos that surrounds your problem, and you shoot for three or four creative options.
There is simply too much unstructured and unreliable data in the future.
Demographic evolution, societal changes, AI, robots, new specialist legislation, etc. Too many changes on the horizon. There is always a new trend around the corner that you won’t have thought of.
Everything around you changes. You can’t know the future, but you can structure your response to it, by first imagining a number of possible futures.
It’s a way to solve problems. It’s not about how high your IQ is, or how many business theories you know. It’s just about the way you think about problems.
The hallmark of a successful executive, entrepreneur or freelancer is the ability to be more strategic than one’s peers or competitors.
You and your team will typically need to think strategically about a particular issue you face if:
It's the approach most of us use when we don’t actually realize that we are solving a problem.
We just execute a solution we already know – or we ask another expert to do so for us.
This is the methodical execution of already known tasks, towards completion of an already identified outcome.
Analyzing data is really good at making sense of the past, and not so great at making sense of the future.
Because most forecasts will prove to be false. The majority of future data is as unreliable as your average long-range weather forecast.
"The world is a narrow bridge and the important thing is to not be afraid" - Hebrew prayer.
The world we live in is uncertain and full of risks and it's easy to get scared and look down instead of looking forward. But if you peer over to the side of the bridge, you lose the motivation to continue, you freeze up and stop making good decisions.
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