Why a Blog on Strategy?
Because strategies are so important to us and to every other living thing. So naturally, we need to be good at devising them, recognizing them and dealing with them.
In spite of strategy’s being so important, available sources about strategy are focused on specific fields of use, such as military, business, football or video game strategy. These can of course be very helpful when engaging in one of those specific activities.
But since we have to somehow come up with strategies for nearly every aspect of life, we need more than a specialist strategy skill set. We need to develop general strategy skills – for devising strategies when we need them and recognizing them when they’re coming at us – whatever the circumstance.
That’s the “why” behind this blog.
I first awoke to the importance of strategy when I became a competitive fencer. In spite of having studied under a great maestro, of having the requisite weapon handling technique, speed, fight, etc., some opponents – especially the older ones – regularly worked me over.
This was, to say the least, intolerable. Fortunately, a friend gave me a copy of Gamesmanship (“how to win without actually cheating”), which, while not about strategy as such, and with the appeal soon outgrown, forever warped my mind away from literal thinking. It was clear that just getting better at technique, physical conditioning, etc. was not the answer. Rather, the point was about how to arrange circumstances to make something happen. And that’s strategy.
This revelation affected nearly everything I did, whether work or play. When designing software or architecting computer systems, negotiating contracts, planning new businesses or consulting, or engaging in economic development, strategy became my vehicle. And when travelling the world and meeting and watching people, playing sports or games, hiking in wilderness areas and watching wildlife, strategy became an area of focus for me.
At some point, quite some time ago actually, it became clear that all strategies are composed of the same basic elements, so the skills for devising or recognizing strategies could be the same, no matter what the subject or situation. My mind then turned to articulating strategy as a general topic, and developing simple skill sets that could be used by non-specialists to strategize about anything*.
* Specialists, too.
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