By Kathy Oneto
We’re all stretched right now. Yet, we need to be pivoting and actively problem-solving as the world changes around us. It’s all too easy to get mired in day-to-day business operations and find it hard to carve out time to do the strategic thinking and planning you need to do to move your business and organization forward. In today’s environment, it’s imperative that you find this time. Plus, this is the type of work that is energizing, rewarding, and fun. And even leaders could likely use a little fun right now, right?
Below are tips on how to conduct a rapid strategy session that takes just 30 minutes to make a shift around a choice you are trying to make for your business. With the below as a guide, you can find time to think and think clearly.
Here’s how it works.
1. Carve out time in the morning for a “strategy break.” Do your rapid strategy session in the morning when your mind is fresh. Research has shown that conscious, critical thinking takes a lot of energy. Our mental energy is finite, getting depleted throughout the day, so it’s best to do critical thinking in the morning when you are still unencumbered.
Put yourself into an environment that will avoid distractions. We all think we can multi-task, but our brains really can’t juggle multiple thought processes at once. So, get yourself into your own space. Turn off your computer and phone and put aside whatever will get in the way of you focusing your attention. Do not allow yourself to get sucked into energy draining and attention distracting activities like reading emails.
2. Quiet and clear your mind. Start by writing down everything that is filling your brain at the moment like to do’s or random ideas and thoughts that are popping into your conscious. Capture them quickly on a piece of paper to get them off your mind.
Then, close your eyes. Get into your body. Put your hands in your lap and take 5 deep breaths focusing on each breath. Turn off your internal dialogue by focusing on the sounds around you. Take another 5 deep breaths and listen. I know it might sound hokey, but it will get you centered.
3. Define your inquiry. Now, get to why you’re here. Write down your inquiry question. Just one sentence and keep it short. Pick one of the following questions to ask yourself:
- What is the goal I’m trying to achieve?
- What’s the ideal outcome I’m seeking?
- What am I trying to solve?
- What am I trying to understand?
4. Get to what’s at the heart of the matter. Focus on the situation and simplify it down to the most salient issues. Simply ask: What is at the heart of the matter? Capture up to 1-3 factors.
5. Investigate what you may have tried already. Note if there are actions you have already taken to address this inquiry question and if there are any learnings or insights you want to consider.
6. Determine actions or options for addressing the issue. This is …read more
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