The science of strategy

How strategy is similar to science?

A strategy is like a scientific hypothesis. An educated prediction of how the world works. A good strategy is built on functional knowledge – what works, what doesn’t, and why. It is necessarily empirical and pragmatic. Good strategy Bad strategy dives deeper into the science of strategy.
The ultimate worth of strategy is determined by its success.
I recommend checking Introduction to strategy post before you continue.
Who is called “The father of strategy”? 
Hannibal of Carthage (247 BC). Hannibal taught painful lessons to the roman republic through many catastrophic and tragic defeats, which caused Romans to adopt many of his tactics and strategy and evolve from there.
The master strategist is a designer.
The design is adroit and clever – a configuration of resources and activities that yield an advantage. The design should be from upstart early conquests rather than mature states.
The strategist should identify which asymmetries are critical which can be turned into important advantages.
Sources of strength:
    • Leverage: Mix of anticipation+ insight into the most critical pivotal point+ concentrated effort
      • Anticipation: Consider habits+ preference + policies. Inertias and constraints 
      • Pivot points: Natural or created which causes an imbalance in the situation. Holds pent-up force. Magnifies effect of effort
      • Concentration: The gain flow from a combination of constraint and threshold effect – Threshold effect is the critical level of effort necessary to affect.
    • Proximate objectives: The more uncertain and dynamic the situation, the more proximate the objective must be. Hierarchal and close enough to be feasible. Usually is about taking a better position and creating options.
    • Chain link: Logical link in a situation in which the quality of subparts or components matter. 
    • Dynamics: Grab the high ground. Exploit waves of change. Like the wind in a racing boat. The challenge is not forecasting, but understanding the past and present. Peer into the fog of change and see 10% more clearly.
    • Inertia: Unwillingness or inability to adapt to changing circumstances. Such as routines – the barriers are mainly in the perception.
    • Entropy: As in the second law of thermodynamics in chemistry – ” In all closed systems, the entropy(Disorder) is always increasing”. Constantly strive on maintaining your purpose and work.
You don’t need to get it “totally right” – Just more right than your rivals. 
To generate a good strategy you must put aside the comfort and security of pure deduction. Swim in the murkier waters of induction, analogy, judgment, and insight. Try to reach higher ground checkpoints in your swim.
Essential skills:
    • Question own judgment: Your reasoning must withstand vigorous attacks
    • Record judgments
    • Create and destroy ideas: You can use a virtual panel of experts whose judgment you value. (What would you do? What is wrong with this approach?)
Being strategic is being less myopic – less shortsighted than others. You must perceive and take into account what others do not. Knowledge is necessary but is not sufficient. Design and Launch.
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