Tag Archives: creative thinking

Bad Strategy: Unintended Consequences

Green River ON a hike in The Canyon Lands, some of our mountain friends encountered the legendary river runner Moki Mac.  At the time he was managing operations at Utah’s Dead Horse Point State Park, and was concerned for the safety of the growing number of recreational boaters running the nearby Green River.  Because of the extreme conditions, to ensure survival in case of a mishap, boaters would have to get out of the canyon within one day.  But there was no known one-day route out of the canyon, so he wanted one found. Sizing up my friends (John, Grant, … 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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Resources in Strategy; Lye Brook Wilderness

BOURN POND Its nice sitting in this  tree.  The sun has broken through intermittent clouds, switching on the brilliant leaves of my red maple.  This is no ordinary tree.  It’s a cage.  The main trunk is normal for the first two or three feet.  Then it splits into 5 sub-trunks that start horizontally for a couple of feet, then go straight up, creating a cage.  Once inside it, your visual field is saturated red leaves.  Gorgeous.  The tree is on the shore of Bourn Pond in the Lye Brook Wilderness in southern Vermont; it’s the only place I’ve seen trees … Continue reading

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Strategy in the News: Lasso and Lascaux

LASSO Well-regarded author Patricia O’Brien had produced 5 novels.  But her last one hadn’t sold well, and her Simon & Shuster editor declined to publish her new one, “The Dressmaker”.  A dozen more publishers also rejected the efforts of her well-known literary agent, Esther Newberg, to secure a contract for the book. What was going on?  Turns out O’Brien’s book was being rejected because her numbers had been lowered in Nielsen BookScan, a book sales tracking service, as a result of the performance of her most recent book.  And the publishing house editors were making their publishing decisions based on … Continue reading

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Strategy in the News: Fake Review Scams

RISKY RELIANCE          Here we are online, looking for a pair of sneakers.  We’re at the site of a major online retailer.  [sorry – ignore this interruption: BYB6NREXZYJG]  So many sneakers to choose from.  A dazzling array of makes, models and colors.  How to choose?  After going down the search tree, we find several candidates that look pretty good.  Time to check out their customer reviews. Wow – so many 5-star customer ratings!  Funny.  As we read along, some reviews emerge as rather odd.  Maybe it’s the way the reviewer slipped into “marketing speak” – which we wouldn’t expect a real consumer … Continue reading

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Escaping E. Berlin; A Simple Way to Devise Complex Strategies (2)

FOLLOW-UP to the previous post:  here are some specifics on how to devise complex strategies. In that post we were using the example of Achim Weyer’s escape from E. Berlin.  Weyer had decided to escape by armoring a car and making it through a checkpoint (gate location) in The Wall. If we were to devise a complex strategy along the line of Weyer’s, we would go through a process of sketching two kinds of diagram.  This gets the key points of our strategy down on paper, and in the process, into our heads. The Objectives Diagram First, we’d identify the objective(s) (in this … Continue reading

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