Everyone knows you need creative thinking, or entrepreneurial thinking, or innovative thinking, or strategic thinking, to compete in the modern world. All these kinds of thinking amount to the same thing: you figure out what to do in a new situation.
There are currently three massive misconceptions about how this kind of thinking works. I call them Plod, Plot, and Play. Plod means you go beyond your usual routines to analyze a much wider range and depth of information, and advanced technology means there is essentially no limit to the amount of data you can and should plod through. Plot means you spend a lot of time defining your mission, your goals, your objectives, your sub-objectives, and so on. Play means you give up your usual ways of thinking to build a race-car out of duct tape, or toss frisbees across the office, or throw random words onto a velcro board.
But the Plodders and Plotters and Players are all wrong. The trick is to plod and plot and play at the same moment. That’s what a flash of insight does. It’s how the brain makes something new out of real information, and projects it as a strategy. But you get there not through Plodding or Plotting or Playing, but through understanding how strategic intuition works and how to do it better.