Two years ago, within the course of 36 hours, I had to decide whether it was time to leave corporate life and make The Brainzooming Group a full-time business. It wasn't the first time I'd been presented with a quick career choice where within a very short time window (once it was 30 minutes) it was imperative to decide what I'd do next. At least this time, I had the opportunity to come home and talk with my wife about whether we were ready to make a big step together.

To help make the decision, I used the evaluation sheet below with a simple strategic thinking approach. It looks at my options to stay or go - with or without some type of severance package, across everything I thought was important to consider in making this career and life choice.

When faced with a big choice I try to create a similar evaluation sheet, listing what I think my strategic decision factors are. I then rate how (in this case with a Yes, No, or ?) each of the options presented fulfills each strategic decision factor. You'll notice none of the decision factors had weightings, and there was no attempt to do a rating scale on the criteria. While those modifications are sometimes helpful, simplicity and a quick decision were most important.

The answer came up that leaving corporate life was the right choice, no matter the circumstances. Looking back, this simple strategic thinking exercise got me to exactly the right place.

The lesson? A really simple strategic thinking exercise can help you make a really big decision. - Mike Brown


The Brainzooming Group helps make smart organizations more successful by rapidly expanding their strategic options and creating innovative plans they can efficiently implement.  To learn how we can bring out the best innovative thinking in your team with our targeted strategic thinking exercise approach, email us at or call us at 816-509-5320.