🪴 (plotted plant) |

Grand Strategy and the problem with Senior Management

LinkedIn Post

Post at LinkedIn

👉 FOLLOW ME on LinkedIn

Content preparation

I’m fascinated by Strategy and read several great books in the recent years (find the list of books below). And I noticed a common pattern when I wanted to work with it. Without being in the position of highest power and without having a deep experience and profound understanding of Strategy it is tough to get noticed and to really bring such concepts like applying Wardley Mapping and working with Blue Ocean Strategy forward.

The challenge is, that these approach are not easy to grasp. It requires a higher initial time invest and is a cognitive challenge to understand the approach. One needs to practice it again and again. Or it might be helpful to supercharge and work with consultation and guidance along the way.

I was in many sessions where I have been excited about applying an approach to experiment and learn together only to notice that my peers did not really had an understanding of an approach. Without self study and really immersing in a topic unfortunately one cannot leverage the power of such approaches.

I remember a statement from complex systems, that it requires a raise in own complexity to cope with other complex systems. Just simplistic approaches won’t work. And I remember the great book Schwarmdummheit by Gunter Dueck and the curve from simplistic to smart simple solutions. It required learning through a more complicated solution, to then find the smart and simple solution.

And me as a beginner with Grand Strategy, with a deep inner all to apply higher order approaches like Wardley Mapping, the Options-Marker approach, Blue Ocean Strategy and 7 Powers, I’m being challenged with questions, where I cannot provide an answer on the spot, because I yet miss a long lasting experience in applying such approaches and face a peer, that does not yet understand these approaches and comes from a far lower level of excitement. It feel like one has one try and if one can’t convince, the approach is marked to be not working. But we wrongly target the approach instead of understanding that it’s our missing understanding of it. A dilemma.

Managers and especially in higher levels are super busy. And I can understand that experimenting with new approaches and fully immersing in such topics like Grand Strategy seems to be impossible given full schedules and so many stakeholders to serve. But how can in such constellations higher order learning and adaptation really happen. How can we get rid of the simplistic approaches like working with SWOT analysis, magician story telling, just random guess and being lucky, just following intuition.

I noticed in several companies the approach of working with a business development team. But so far these where smart people with great approaches but not really the power to execute. And such teams faced a similar problem. How to convince higher level management to take a bold next step with Grand Strategy.

I’m looking for solutions to that. Is it that I need to learn even deeper and work on Grand Strategy in the background and provide data points again and again. This takes ages and likely won’t solve the underlying problem.

What is your experience? Do maybe already work with higher order strategy approaches - then I’d really love to connect and learn how you got there?

For all who would like to dive deeper I can recommend:

  • The Future Organization Playbook from Dark Horse Innovation - with the Strategy Hexagon and Markus Andreszak’s Marker-Option-Work approach for adaptive strategy
  • 7 Powers by Hamilton Helmer - with main insights to lay the foundations for business strategy
  • Schwarmdummheit by Gunter Dueck
  • Blue Ocean Strategy by by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne - a great new world exploring blue oceans instead of competing in red oceans
  • OODA Loop by John Boyd - Who can handle the quickest rate of change survives
  • Good Strategy, Bad Strategy by Richard Rumelt with it’s great strategy Kernel
  • Wardley Mapping by Simon Wardley - a masterpiece on visualizing strategy and creating a common ground for doing strategy
  • Schwarmdummheit von Gunter Dueck - nicely explaining the difference between stupid simple (simplistic) and brilliantly simple and the the difference between swarm stupidity and swarm intelligence.

Posted on LINKEDIN on 2024-02-13_Tue


Enjoy this post? Buy me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Notes mentioning this note