Project Management

5 Lessons in Strategic Thinking from Yoda

Yoda is famed for his words of wisdom when training Luke Skywalker in the ways of the Force, but his lessons to Luke aren’t only applicable to Jedi-in-training. In an article for Project Times, Susan Heidorn and Elizabeth Larson give five steps to better strategic thinking based on Yoda’s teachings:

  1. Shatter your frames of reference.
  2. Recognize patterns and trends.
  3. Talk with others to help eliminate preconceived notions.
  4. Reflect critically.
  5. Practice and learn.

Thinking Strategically, You Are

The first step in this journey is to get rid of your previous frames of reference. During his training on Dagobah, Luke was forced to confront an illusion of Darth Vader that he thinks is real. It is often too easy to take our frames of reference as undeniable fact and not challenge ourselves with beliefs outside of our usual thought processes. They can seriously hinder our ability to come up with new solutions if we’re too hung up on our own preconceived notions.

Yoda’s introduction into Star Wars is a lesson in itself about how we recognize and identify patterns and trends. Yoda first appears as a hermit, so Luke assumes from known cues that this stranger is not the famed Jedi Master. Strategic thinking involves not jumping to conclusions based on previous patterns, but looking for new patterns and new frameworks to explore.

You should also talk with others to gain new insights and perspectives into a topic. Actively listening to others and embracing new opportunities can help expand what you know. The fourth step then is to reflect upon what you know and why so you can challenge these ways of thinking. It will help you recognize your own behaviors and patterns of thought so you can analyze your own biases and thought structures.

Finally, Heidorn and Larson say that practice can help make perfect:

“Do or do not. There is no try.” – Yoda

We wish we could tell you that some of us are born Jedi knights in strategic thinking. We are not, and so we have to learn and then practice these steps. When we learn to use the Force, to use both our imagination and experience, both our intuition and our rational mind, we get closer to being Strategic Thinking Jedi Knights. And when we learn from both our successes and our failures, we find that strategic thinking becomes not only easier—but even fun.

“Mind what you have learned. Save you it can.” – Yoda

You can view the original article here:

Austin J. Gruver

Austin is a Staff Writer for AITS. He has a background in professional writing from York College.

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