I’ve been re-reading Julia Sloan’s, Learning to Think Strategically. She begins by saying that “strategic thinking is a long-term informal development process, best learned from experiences outside the work environment and supported and processed inside the work environment.”
From this I take away the need to integrate broader life experiences and encountered environments into my work. What does drinking coffee at Mojos or walking through Longwood Gardens have to do with work? What does listening to music or creating art have to do with work?
Everything. Informal does not mean accidental. Spend time observing the processes going on around you, reflecting on how each experience creates emotions and thoughts, and considering the implications for your work. What can you learn? How could the processes, observations, and experiences inform your work? Your strategy? Informal learning may be non-routine or unstructured, but we can bring awareness and curiosity along with us everywhere we go.
What did you learn outside of the office today? How will you apply it when you return?