The Diablog™

The Mind of a Strategist

Imagine a meeting room at a community center. The sign at the entrance says, "Welcome, Strategists Anonymous." You are seated with several other people in a circle of chairs. I am there, too. The group leader calms the idle chatter. I stand and say, "My name is Robert Kruger, and I am a strategist."

That's right. I am addicted to strategizing. I can't help myself. I break down everything I do into a strategy. I'm sure it drives my family nuts.

As a strategist with Dialogs, I have the perfect job. The good news for you is that what torments strategists like me can make you a better ebusiness. Here is a breakdown of how I get from the start to the end of any sized project.

It all starts with an idea. No idea is good or bad until it has been analyzed. Some ideas can be analyzed very quickly; others are more complex. After the initial analysis is done, every idea is either good or bad (by degrees). If I tell you that it seems like you have had a bad idea, I'm not picking on you, I'm not trying to secretly steal your idea, and I'm not judging your idea based on an opinion of you or your previous ideas. I have played out your idea to completion, and I didn't like what I saw. That may sound weird or spooky, but trust me. That is how my mind works, and I have been doing it for a long time.

Good ideas have a somewhat better chance to succeed than bad ones. Just because your idea seems to have problems, with the right resources we can overcome many obstacles. If you hear me say that your idea can be done, but it will be challenging, you need to decide if you are up to the challenge. If I recommend that your idea should not move forward, I really don't think it has a chance. On the other end of the spectrum, if you hear me say that I think you have a good idea, it could still fail without sufficient resources. The quality of the initial idea only slightly modifies the effort it will take to succeed.

Analysis relies on assumptions. When I think through an idea, I make assumptions where details are missing. I can see multiple scenarios based on different assumptions. The word "assume" has gotten a bad rap. You can't know everything at the formation of an idea. The ability to make logical assumptions is necessary to form opinions.

Opinions are the foundation of running a business. Form an opinion. Think it through and commit to a direction. Yes, it will be an opinion. Yes, you might be wrong. That just means you may need to make an adjustment in the future. Not forming an opinion guarantees with 100% certainty that nothing will get done. If you catch yourself waffling about an idea, slap yourself, throw cold water on your face, run around your office, or whatever it takes to get your mind working. Sitting on the fence is for spectators.

Opinions are not facts. I form opinions at a startling rate. Ask me for an opinion about your business, and I will deliver. That doesn't mean I am right. My opinions are based on all of the steps above. With my experience, there is high likelihood that my opinion will eventually prove accurate. If my opinion is inaccurate, it can be proven so using the same steps above. Feel free to challenge and fact-check me.

Opinions are replaced with facts over time. Once you form an opinion, it is easy to get possessive of it. Don't get too cozy with opinions. When an opinion can be replaced with real-world results, the opinion must go away. Opinions are absolutely essential for making progress in the absence of facts. Facts are absolutely more reliable than opinions.

Change direction for the right reasons. If facts show me that my opinions were wrong, I change direction. If I have no facts to support a change, I keep going in the same direction. I don't reform an opinion again and again in an attempt to transform my opinion into fact. That is a waste of time. Wait for the facts, then decide if action is needed.

There you have it. That is how the mind of a strategist works. I know most people don't process ideas like this. If it sounds like torture to you, that's OK. For ebusiness planning and consulting, one member of the team needs to be able to break down an idea into the steps to completion. It doesn't have to be you – that's why we're here.

Talk to one of our strategists. You will be amazed by how we can help you clarify your business.