Friday, December 24, 2010

Ponder This

When people ask me what my hobby is, I usually tell them that my hobby is to ponder things. I like to ponder all kinds of things.

I think that is a good quality for strategists to have--the desire to ponder things. Pondering means taking the time to fully think things through--to even let your mind wander a bit.

Think of it as mental exercise...stretching the brain.

If all you do is run from meeting to meeting, with your eyes glued to a smartphone all the time, you are letting that pondering portion of the brain atrophy. Ignore the rush of the daily grind for awhile; relax and ponder.

The great "Eureka!" moments of strategic discovery rarely come unless pondering has first taken place. I spoke in more detail on this concept here.

This is why I was encouraged by the comment to the prior blog where Ali Anani suggested I add a 4th "P" to my 3P approach to strategy, a P for "Pondering."

Since this is Christmas time, I am reminded of another time of pondering. It says in the Bible that after Mary gave birth to Jesus, she pondered over what had just happened. During this Christmas season, that is indeed something worthy of pondering.

Enjoy the season and happy pondering!


  1. Gerald Nanninga,

    I fail to make a comment. I just want to thank you for the privilege you extended to me in this post. This tribute coming from Gerald Nanninga means a lot to me.

  2. Gerald Nanninga,

    The strategist prize this year goes for C.K.Prahalad
    The link is

    This is part of my comment
    This is a touchy and human post. It discusses in a smart way the need to acknowledge the role of strategists in opening our eyes to the future possibilities. As you rightly said, selecting the winner is a formidable task. I agree with your nomination and support your aim of making an annual prize for strategist.

    Since strategists look for possibilities- why not simplify your heavy task by nominating two people for the prize. People like Gerald Nanninga and yourself would stand a good chance of being nominated.
    There is a reply to my comment that deserves your attention, Gerald

  3. Hello Gerald,

    I really liked the way you linked the spiritual pondering process to the strategic planning pondering process!

    More specifically, C.H. Spurgeon in his commentary about this biblical pondering process would say that – “Mary exercised her 3 Pondering Powers (or 3P’s of her inner being) in the following three dimensions– a) in her mind (or soul) she retained those treasures meticulously b) in her heart (or spirit) she cherished those treasures affectionately c) in her intellect, she analyzed those treasures objectively. In other words, Mary was balancing those treasures (i.e. what has happened vs. what was foretold to her by angels) objectively in three dimensions.

    Yet another dictionary meaning of the word “ponder, is “to weigh” or balance things from opposing dimensions - and interestingly enough, the Portfolio-Thread Strategic View (PTV), I had proposed in one of my earlier blogs – aligns perfectly with this biblical pondering principle of balancing opposites ( What a coincidence!

    On a side note – Mr.Ali Annani and I whole heartedly agreed today (in my year-end blog comment section) ( - that some one of your caliber must be nominated for the strategist of the year award in 2011. For 2010, we have honored one of the world renowned strategists from your Alma matter - and hence, we are gearing up to nominate you next year. Another coincidence as I understand is that you are one of CKP’s prodigy/student at Michigan and so it sounds like a logical progression. The spiritual analogy I can quote from scriptures for your teacher-student relationship with CKP are- Paul-Gamaliel relationship in Bible and Arjuna/Dronocharya relationship in Mahabharata - and I am sure you both fit the bill very well.
    Happy New Year again!