It's Strategy Season! That time of year when leaders establish goals and objectives for the next several quarters, devise annual budgets, and build a plan for the next year. Too often, the impulse to dive into planning obviates the most critical first step of strategy, strategic thinking.
Whether updating last year's strategic plan or building one from scratch, I encourage you to take a break from the SWOTs, competitive analysis, and spreadsheets and devote some time to questioning previous analytical thinking and challenging generally accepted assumptions.
As leaders, the organization relies on you to collaboratively ask the difficult questions about what it takes to truly be different, innovative, a leader in your space next year, 24 months from now, and so on. So embrace curiosity. Probe. Inspire others on your team to do the same. Be ok with being uncomfortable. This is the ideal time to question the futurity of present decisions: which of today's decisions are durable and for how long?
If one new goal or powerful insight is gained from thinking first, it will be well worth it. And you will be lauded as the visionary leader who motivated others to broadly consider how best to prepare for an uncertain tomorrow.