Strategic thinking isn’t always looking at new ways of doing something. It includes looking at what you’re doing in new ways.
It all starts with knowing (understanding).
To identify what is truly at play and what are the inner workings of what is happening. How does it work? Why does it work? Who plays a role? Why are those roles the way they are? And — who made those roles anyway?
To understand something is to have knowledge of that thing.
From there we can look at the principles (or laws) that are at work.
Now you can’t change principles or laws (i.e. the law of gravity) but you can certainly use them as the constraints that will allow you to come up with new ideas and perhaps new strategies to approach the work you already do in a new light.
Creativity is born out of constraints
Once you have understanding, the next steps are to communicate what is known to others. This requires careful thinking to ensure the words you use to illumine the other’s mind of what is known so they too can understand.
Then finally, it’s time to act based on what is known and understood.
This is the beginning of strategy in action.