Highlights for Certain to Win by Chet Richards

War strategies, however, rest on a deeper foundation of people working together under stress and uncertainty, and good ones shape the terms of the conflict to their liking before combat begins.

What the commanders had, at best, was information about the enemy within a few miles of them.

Rather than dig in and “consolidate his position,” or otherwise savor the fruits of victory, he proceeded to use his advantage in time to neutralize his opponents’ forces and weapons.

Your other choice, if you believe that you do not have the resources to carry out the order, or that it is just plain dumb, is to challenge it. The German system encouraged this, but once agreement was reached, the superior could assume that the mission would be accomplished.

the greater risk is the loss of time that comes from always trying to be explicit.

He must observe the environment, which includes himself, his opponent, the physical, mental, and moral situation, and potential allies and opponents.

The idea behind strategy is to create chaos in the opponent, not in ourselves.

Strategy is a mental tapestry of changing intentions for harmonizing and focusing our efforts as a basis for realizing some aim or purpose in an unfolding and often unforeseen world of many bewildering events and many contending interests.

He starts blaming the customer, or insisting that his sales force “educate the customer.”

Basic Rule of All Competition (BRAC): You are not smarter than either the customer or the competition.

Another, and more insidious strategic effect of complex methodologies is that they can turn the attention of the company inwards. Most of them, for example, require extensive input.

As Musashi summarized it, in the translation by Hanshi Steve Kaufman, which was Boyd’s favorite:Practice is the only way that you will ever come to understand what the Way of the warrior is about . . . Words can only bring you to the foot of the path . . .”

Deming rails against organizations that don’t understand the importance of requiring first-line supervisors to have expertise in the jobs they manage. How can a supervisor have a “feel” for how his operation is going if he’s never done it?

Communications is the bottoms-up aspect of command and control, and the Marines define “control,” to be this stream of information.

Obviously it takes a lot of mutual trust to know whom to appoint to which missions and especially to admit and quickly communicate mistakes.

Concentrate instead on the essence of the concept, which is to devolve maximum responsibility onto the subordinate, in return for his or her pledge to use his/her initiative and creativity to accomplish the task, consistent with your ground rules.

You must try these concepts, practice them, create mechanisms for sharing experiences, develop common outlooks and orientations, and manage by them.

No probabilities here; you’ve made yourself certain to win.

Because you never know what will prod your creativity and the more widely you prospect, the more likely you are to find that something to set your offerings apart from all of your competitors.

Studies of innovation reveal that practically everything new consists of bits and pieces of other concepts, often from fields that appeared to be unrelated, that somebody had the genius to reassemble to form something new and exciting.

As Boyd pointed out, a plan is only an intention, and a strategy is merely a scheme for creating and managing plans.

If you want your system to run faster, what you have to do is change it in ways that decrease the time it takes to do the most important things you do, those that affect the customer.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.