How To Apply The Right Thinking At The Right Time


Critical thinking is important. And it is horrible if we apply it while we are creating a mission, strategy, or goals. Critical thinking here derails the considerations, explorations, and dreaming.

The creative thinking we use build strategies etc. is wonderful. And it, too, is rotten if we apply it when we are meant to be implementing and executing. Creative thinking here derails the detailed planning, problem solving, and progress.

Apply the right thinking at the right time. Pro tip: decide ahead of time the purpose of each meeting: strategy or implementation. In strategy meetings, focus on answering the questions, “What is true now?”, “What do we want to be true?”, and “Why?”. In implementation meetings, focus on answering the questions, “Who?”, “How?”, and “When?”. In each type of meeting, capture the thoughts of the other type for the next appropriate meeting where they will be welcome and useful.


In your corner,



Today’s photo credit: Tambako the Jaguar via photopin cc

4 thoughts on “How To Apply The Right Thinking At The Right Time

  1. Mike
    I really liked how “strategy meeting” answers what & why vs. “implementation meeting” which answers who, how & when. Meeting participants seem to naturally gravitate to one type of thinking or the other. Asking them to focus on the specific what & why vs who, how & when provides succinct guidance to the individuals who are not as comfortable with that type of thinking.

    1. Hi Debbie,

      I, too, find people gravitating to one or the other type of thinking as their standard way. Go firmly and gently as it can be uncomfortable as people learn to apply a different type of thinking when they are so used to their standard way.


  2. I agree with Debbie – the concept of engaging the right kind of thinking for the task at hand seems obvious, now that you have described it, but I never thought of it that way before. A powerful tool for keeping people engaged and focused.

    Thank you!

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