casual vs effectual thinking

Causal thinking is not good at spotting potential surprises. The causal thinker tends to assume that all possible contingencies have been covered in the planning process and that no unforeseen events are possible. This can leave the causal thinker in shock when the impossible happens. Causal thinkers are also not good at exploring all the possibilities for a company. They tend to focus on one or two of the more plausible outcomes and work toward them.

Effectual thinkers sometimes don’t even know their goal when they start out. They focus on a company’s assets, talents and abilities, and they find ways to use those in the marketplace. They are open to unexpected developments and stand ready to marshal all their resources in pursuit of a new opportunity they didn’t see coming. This kind of thinking can make a company nimble and adaptable. As the marketplace shifts, effectual thinking can help you shift with it.

Effectual thinkers can become bored with predictable outcomes, even if those outcomes are the most profitable ones for the company. In fact, they may overlook clearly obtainable goals in favor of more exciting possibilities. This can leave your company forever trying something new and never capitalizing on what it has already achieved. In the face of effectual thinking, you sometimes have to insist on being pragmatic and maintaining a focus on profitability.

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Author: chrisfranskin