Group-SessionStrong strategic thinking involves exploring multiple, often conflicting, scenarios. So it’s not surprising the most productive team strategic thinking exercises also embody conflicting characteristics. It’s an example of “form reinforcing output.”

7 Important “Ands” in Strategic Thinking

As you consider what team strategic thinking exercises are most appropriate for your group, look for these 7 “Ands.” Each of these 7 “Ands” sets up the right amount of internal tension within team strategic thinking exercises so that they are beneficial as possible:

1. Divergent AND Convergent Thinking

You have to both push both thinking about lots of ideas (divergent thinking) and ultimately narrowing to those ideas with the greatest potential (convergent thinking).

2. Individual AND Group Participation

Since not everyone will be most effective contributing in the same ways, team strategic thinking exercises need to allow for both individuals to work and contribute solo while taking advantage of the team’s combined thinking skills also.

3. Long AND Short Activities

While it is ideal to have an extended period of time for a group to engage in strategic thinking exercises, that doesn’t mean using a single activity the entire time. Instead, it’s beneficial to break up the time into brief activities through a variety of team strategic thinking exercises.

Ands4. Tested AND New Frameworks

While it’s important to have tested, dependable team strategic thinking exercises you know will support a group’s thinking, it’s beneficial to customize exercises (even if they are completely new) to reflect the team’s particular strategy challenges.

5. Loud AND Quiet Times

Typically, the mix of group and individual exercises sets the stage for varied loud and quiet times when a team is doing strategic thinking. Some people advocate starting quiet; others are proponents of beginning loud and raucous to shape the time together. What works best depends on the group and the strategic thinking challenge at hand.

6. Important AND Silly Matters

A group can’t think seriously all day without mental breaks. We call these breaks “mental lemon sorbets.” Doing a few silly exercises amid the important stuff provides both fun and a break from rigorous mental activity.

7. Thinking AND Doing Phases

A productive strategic thinking session isn’t solely about contemplation. Thinking times contrast with doing in order to actively develop concepts, prototype ideas, and create implementation plans.

Too much to think about with team strategic thinking exercises?

Getting the most from team strategic thinking exercises requires upfront planning and great facilitation.

If you prefer to simply participate and leave the planning and facilitation to someone else, let us know. We create productive team strategic thinking exercises all the time and would love to do it for your organization. – Mike Brown


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The Brainzooming Group helps make smart organizations more successful by rapidly expanding their strategic options and creating innovative plans they can efficiently implement. Email us at or call us at 816-509-5320 to learn how we can help you enhance your strategy and implementation efforts.



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