Remember, strategic thinking lessons are all around us if we're willing to search for them.
For instance, there is an account in Acts of the Apostles from the Bible's New Testament about the apostle Paul visiting Athens. While in Athens, Paul was taken to the Areopagus by some of the Greek philosophers. They wanted him to talk about the teachings he was speaking of as the Athenians "used their time for nothing else but telling or hearing something new."
Paul began his discourse at the Areopagus by speaking of walking through Athens. Amid a city full of gods and idols of various sorts, he reported finding "an altar inscribed, 'To an Unknown God.'" This altar was intended to cover the Athenians and stay in the good graces of any god they hadn't yet learned about.
I have written and spoken previously about this Bible passage, which is read in Catholic masses on the Wednesday of the sixth week of Easter. It's a fantastic example of understanding what your audience believes and launching your attempt to sway their strategic thinking by recognizing where you agree rather than where you disagree.
Strategic Thinking and Unknown Ideas
It struck me yesterday how, from the audience's perspective, this is also a wonderful story to reflect how we receive new, unknown ideas and strategic thinking.
It's easy, over time, to fill our heads with ideas and strategic thinking that define our world view and represent our attempt to explain everything we have experienced. It's also easy to become so fascinated with our own strategic thinking that we leave no room to consider new ways of doing things or opposing points of view.
Some people take this to such an extreme that they can't even consider opposing ideas simply to understand why people hold them even if they have no intention of believing or embracing these ideas.
Here's a reminder for all of us: as you grow in years and experience, keep a space that never goes away where you are willing to hear others on new, unknown ideas.
Because if you're going to grow in your strategic thinking capabilities, you can never NOT have the mental space to hear, consider, and potentially expand your thinking. – Mike Brown