What does strategy have to do with diagonal thinking?
Strategy should be your mindset with every decision. Strategy is the plan of action you set in place to solve the problem. If you have a strategy, diagonal thinking is your vehicle to solve it successfully. Diagonal thinking comes into the picture when traditional approaches don’t work. What if you are challenged with a deeper rooted problem solving situation at work? What if the situation requires thinking in the box but not using rows and columns, rather a diagonal approach?
Diagonal thinking is staying within the box while not traveling outside of it. I have heard time and time again that you need to think outside the box to achieve results. That isn’t the case at all. If you think outside the box you will miss opportunities. The box represents the rules we all need to abide by and keeps us honest. Everything inside the box is rows and columns.
I am not saying that you don’t want to counter convention and be unique. When we are challenged sometimes the most important thing for you to do is to step back, take some perspective on your challenge, and most importantly listen. If you listen there is an opportunity to hear something that may help you solve the problem.
Diagonal thinking does not come naturally. Some individuals might have the ability to see it easier than the next, but that doesn’t mean diagonal thinking can’t be a learned behavior. More times than not, people have to learn and train their brain to think diagonally.
It is important to be present in the moment when thinking diagonally to answer a critical problem. Approach the challenge knowing that expectations are different depending on the people and companies involved. Remember…different kinds of people and different kinds of business present new challenges almost daily. Solving complex problems with a diagonal approach will keep you on your toes and ready for any complex problem.
I am currently taking a MBA course on learning how to value companies. The class has been one of my favorites for many reasons beyond explaining in this blog post. The professor is full of knowledge and it comes from his experiences and understanding from an entrepreneurial perspective. He told us one night in lecture when talking about being ready for whatever is about to come our direction and always be ready to “expect the unexpected, because the unexpected should be expected.”
As entrepreneurs we can’t always predict what the future hold. All we can do is best prepare ourselves for any unexpected event. The next blog post will cover on how to develop a daily routine that forms healthy habits that lead us to a productive and accomplished day. Having a solid schedule in place will better prepare ourselves when an event happens that we were not expecting. We can’t control all variables, we can only control our behavior when reacting to whatever comes our direction.
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