Strategy emerges from how we think about the complex problems facing our organizations. These problems might relate to our environment, the challenges faced by our beneficiaries or something inside our organization. To become better at developing strategies, we must learn how to think more clearly and avoid cognitive biases.
My ability to think strategically has benefited immensely from understanding the differences between inductive and deductive reasoning, and understanding when and how to apply them. Inductive reasoning involves ‘bottom up thinking’ – constructing theories from details. In contrast, deductive reasoning involves ‘top down thinking’ – starting with a theory and assuming details that must be true if the theory is valid.
We all have our preferences for one of these types of reasoning when solving complex problems that affect organizations and communities. Nevertheless, it is beneficial to master both types of reasoning so that we can use them when the need arises.
This article summarizes what I have learned so far while diving into this topic. It is a detailed and technical article that will interest people who want to enhance how they use reasoning to solve problems.