Developing Strategic Thinking

“I hear and I forget, I see and I remember, I do and I understand.” Confucius 

Strategic thinking is the ability to look at a situation from multiple angles and find potential opportunities therein. It requires keen insight into the playing field, the players, the circumstances and the way related events, affect your position. Personally, I find such analysis invigorating, this is a key motivating aspect in my becoming an entrepreneur. Is thinking strategically something that you are born with? Or, is it something that can be learnt ? The answer to this question has been tackled by several noted authors and management gurus Most of their answers lie somewhere in the middle of these two questions. I agree entirely with them. Thinking in this manner comes naturally to some, and takes time to develop in others.

The key is, to continuously flex the brain muscles, and get into the habit of looking at situations from different angles. Through such a process, one is able to unlock dormant capabilities and to further develop inherent capabilities you may possess. One of the most enjoyable and instructive ways to develop this capability is to play strategy based games. I have enjoyed doing so since I was very young. Even though I was young, and totally naive and unaware to many of the fundamental concepts introduced in games like bridge, monopoly and chess, a subconscious learning was taking place. I was learning concepts of team work, planning and understanding your opponent.

Over the next week I plan to outline five of my favorite strategy based games. Games I have been playing for a long time. Playing card and board games is something I remember spending a lot of time on. Being an aggressive competitor, I learnt about losing gracefully, planning and endurance. Today, these skills are key drivers which push me forward and most importantly, help me keep an eye on the larger picture. I would be most interested to learn about strategy games which you play, and have played, games through which you can draw parallels to the business world. I hope you enjoy this series. 


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