Tag Archives: barrier

Strategy in the News: Ratcheting in the Ukraine; Foxtails and Camels

CRIMEA – News articles relating to Russia’s Crimea takeover have been unrelenting for the last month or more.   As well, there’s been much concern about potential incursions into other parts of the Ukraine, and for that matter, other former Soviet countries. A number of different actions and counter-actions have been reported, and many interpretations of the situation have been put forward.  But what do these moves really signify? Something we can call the Ratchet Strategy. Just a little history To understand how and why this strategy is being employed, we need a bit of context.  Then we can talk … Continue reading

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Strategy in the News: Drones, a New Resource

DRONING THE FARM  Robert Blair’s neighbors have grown accustomed to seeing him launch a small aircraft over his fields in Idaho.  It’s a nice-looking little plane about 4 ft. long, with a wingspan of around 8 feet, that systematically flies back and forth over sections of his land. What’s Blair doing with this thing?  He runs a good-sized operation – 1,500 acres.  It’s hard to know where and how much to be tending the crops on a spread this size.  And the cost of tending them has risen dramatically as the costs of fertilizer, fuel and water have increased. So targeting … Continue reading

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The Great Wall; Defensive Strategy

The Great Wall – Standing on the Great Wall with friend & colleague Guy after finishing up business in Beijing …   You can get a sense for the unending and imposing character of the wall from the picture.  The photo was taken just moments before the Great International Cigar Incident occurred. Our private tour guide, Grace, had let us loose at the entrance to the wall stairs at the Mutianyu garrison.  She knew what we were in for.  We‘d targeted a specific guard tower high up on a hill as our goal.  It was a really tough climb up the … Continue reading

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Negotiating Strategy; Buying on the Silk Road

SITTING here with family and friends on a large wooden divan in a Samarkand chaikhana, sipping that good tea, and eating some local snacks …  we were about to take in some of the city’s magnificent architecture.  Tomorrow we would be going to the Registan, a great market where I could take a shot at doing some negotiating with Silk Road merchants renowned for their sophisticated bargaining. The Silk Road Built on even much earlier trade routes, the Silk Road was a well-established overland route by 200 BC, that primarily connected the Mediterranean and China.  No surprise, a principal commodity of trade … Continue reading

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What Strategies Are

On the 3rd of May each year, the women of Monsanto, Portugal, walk up a stone path from the town to the top of the mountain.  They enter the fortress there and then cast clay jars full of flowers down from its granite walls in commemoration of the villagers’ resistance to the many sieges in the town’s long history.  During a stay in the town, I was told a story about the clay jars and what they represent. They represent cows.  The story goes like this.  Long ago, perhaps in the 1100’s, Monsanto was under siege.  The people of the … Continue reading

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Anatomy of a Strategy

Gotta’ have Anatomy Look at the guys in the Rembrandt painting.  They’re old doctors getting an anatomy lesson from the one wearing a hat.  Troubling.  How can you have been a doctor unless you understood the parts of the body and how they work together?  But here these puzzled-looking doctors are, finally getting an anatomy lesson. Reminds me of where we are with strategy today.  We need a small dose of strategy anatomy. It was quite a lag in time before the Western medical profession adopted what should be considered the most minimal understanding necessary to be a practicing doctor.  But in many … Continue reading

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