The Silent Killer of Strategic Thinking

Busyness kills strategic thinking.

This is something that leaders tend to underestimate.

They keep asking people to:

  • add things to do as if they have limitless capacity
  • deliver tasks in an unrealistic timeframe

But here’s what happens to our strategic thinking when we work in these conditions:

  • Our cognitive load increases when we’re constantly juggling tasks and responding to urgent matters. This means our brain is occupied with managing the immediate workload, leaving less mental capacity for higher-level, strategic thinking.
  • When we’re always rushing from one task to another, we’re less likely to allocate the necessary time to analyze, plan, and strategize.
  • Busy environments can lead to constant interruptions and distractions. These interruptions can disrupt the flow of strategic thinking and prevent deep concentration.
  • “Busyness” often pushes people into a survival mode where they focus primarily on short-term goals and quick fixes. Strategic thinking requires a broader, long-term perspective that can be difficult to maintain amid constant busyness.

Here’s the paradox:

Leaders ask people to do more, expecting they can deliver better/stronger performance.

As a result, they kill their ability to think more strategically, see the bigger picture, and achieve breakthrough performance.

My suggestion:

Break the vicious cycle.

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