When facing an obstacle or critical issue, best entrepreneurs and innovators are able to leverage causal and effectual thinking concurrently:

Casual and effectual thinking (illustration based on work by Sarasvathy)
Casual and effectual thinking (illustration based on work by Sarasvathy)

Causal thinking focuses on the end result—objective—and working out different pathways—tactics, activities, measures—to reach it.

Effectual thinking focuses on taking stock of what you currently have—resource, know-how, talent, insight—and imagining what else you could achieve with those.

There is no either/or with these two thinking modes; it is about combining these two to generate the best options for your situation.