Do you have to be an a*hole to be good at strategy?

This is quite a strange question. It’s strange because very few people are asking it. Nobody really assumes that you need to be an asshole to do strategy, so why would I even bring it up? It sounds like asking if you need to be Spanish to drive a train, or short to peel an […]

How to understand strategy at the deepest – even cosmic – level

Warning: this one gets a bit “deep”… but you might still get a kick out of it, let’s see. As many of you know, I never had any formal strategy training. Heck, until fairly recently, I’d never even read a book about it. In fact I think I had the misguided arrogance to set up […]

How do you know when your strategy is “good enough”?

I’m going to let you in on a little secret: You don’t actually need your strategy to be particularly good. Yes, we’d all love to achieve the elegant brilliance of a Southwest, or an IKEA, but being real that’s probably not gonna happen. There’s a reason why people talk about those same case studies over […]

Strategy as a cure for modern malaise

OK, this title sounds ridiculous. But hear me out, and by the end of this essay, I think I’ll have won you over. First, here’s the issue: The modern world is boring. Now admittedly it’s many other things too. And many of those things might make you happy to be living in the here and […]

The No Bullshit Strategy Manifesto

As with so many things, the issue with strategy is not so much the information out there – it’s the presentation. There is no grand discovery to be made; no revolutionary process or framework; no groundbreaking new way to think about the discipline. Strategy is strategy. And everything there is to know about it is […]

Three ways to know if you’re lying to yourself in your strategy

I’ve often felt that you can boil strategy down to an attempt to simply be as honest as possible. About your business. About yourself. About the world. The closer you get to absolute truth, the more effective your actions.  With God-like omniscience anything can be done.  You of course know a lot less – but […]

But seriously, does strategy even matter?

One of my concepts that long time readers will be familiar with is this: Strategy is optional. It really is.  You don’t have to do it.  Most successful people and businesses don’t even bother – at least not consciously.  They just hustle and experiment and try, and get their rewards regardless.  Generally we can say […]

Perhaps we need to kill strategy and do this instead

A privilege of my position (albeit a slightly dubious one), is that I get to see a lot of strategies.   People often send them to me or describe them to me, and so I’m able to form a pretty decent idea of the “strategy zeitgeist” out there. Are they good? Are they bad? What […]

How to do strategy for your own career

You’ll only really understand strategy when you understand this: It’s a universal pattern It’s not a piece of technical knowledge, it’s not something invented, it’s not super domain specific.  It’s basically about understanding how things (e.g. businesses) fit into wider systems (e.g. markets) in a healthy and harmonious way that benefits all parties. (Granted there […]

Four useful ways to think about “insight”

Is “strategy” the shittest word in business? No!  Although it is indeed misunderstood, and although it’s used to cloak all manner or useless jargony guff, it can only be considered prince of the bullshit realm. The king?  There can be no question: Insight. Yes, in comparison to this slippery bugger “strategy” seems solid as a […]