Internet notebook about my work: deep listening to facilitate positive change


Monday, 12 August 2013

Frogleaps on strategy

Strategy is not a plan you implement. Strategy is a three-fold skill set you learn along the road Ctowards desired results. You learn these skills by practicing, contemplating and practicing. In other words, the way one masters an art.
  • The first skill is to unconditionally accept uncertainty on the road towards a desired result.
  • The second skill is to see the unique possibility that will help us gain a decisive advantage along the road towards the desired result.
  • The third skill is to timely exploit that unique possibility to gain this decisive advantage on the road towards the desired result.

The principles of the way of the strategy

In 1645 Miyamoto Musashi wrote the Book of The Five Rings. A manual on strategy for samurai. In his introduction he explains that this strategy also has guided his mastering of other skills and arts. Some of his calligraphy and drawings can still be admired in Japanese museums. Over the years his book has become a source of inspiration not only for those specializing in martial arts but also for modern managers and politicians.

How to most effectively reach your goal?

Strategy is about how to most effectively reach your goal. Most communicators concentrate on tools: brochures, videos, photo exhibitions. The question is: will that help us reach our goals? Frogleaps often gets the question: what is a strategic communication? The true answer: it is a way of life!

Value the use of tools

We paraphrase Musashi. A strategy for effective communication is not different from a strategy for success in business development or war. If you don’t appreciate strategy, you won’t value the use of tools. Each situation is different and does not stay the same. Before you communicate you have to analyze it, including the context and key people.
Then define success.

Understand the context, your options and timing

Each situation may ask for a different tool, set of tools or a different use or timing of the tools. The main tool is speech. You master it when listening becomes hearing.Then you also know how to use the other written media. The other tool is drawing. You master it when looking becomes seeing. Then you also know how to use the other visual media.

Planning is key

The success of a strategy is not in the plan but in the planning. It is professional way of life. The principles of the way of the strategy, according to Musashi, are:
  • Always be honest.
  • Keep on practicing and learning.
  • Become acquainted with every art.
  • Know the mindset of all professions.
  • In worldly affairs go for the result.
  • Develop your intuitive judgment and understanding for every person or situation.
  • Perceive things that cannot be seen.
  • Pay attention to details.
  • Do nothing which is of no use.

2 Responses to “What is strategy?”

  1. Xander says:
    For starters I can agree to the jest of the notes published. I do however feel that strategy is so much more than just providing the ultimate means of getting to a next position or level.
    And it being a skill to acquire. It does give the concept of strategy a different and more manageable feeling, however this focus on how to go about construing a strategy and not answer the question of “what a strategy?” really is.
    If one scours the web one tends to get a definition of strategy per person which sort of confirms that no one really sat down and worked through the angles to define what strategy is. WordWeb define is as “An elaborate and systematic plan of action” Which is as good as it gets but still come up short because “action” might not be a good tactic in a specific situation. Sitting, waiting might be better responses ( Although semantically it is still activities I would succumb to the more passive nature of these)
    That’s for now but I would suggest that one takes another route to actually defining strategy.

Friday, 2 August 2013

Eye in eye with the tiger

Looking the tiger in the eye. Seeing nature on film can still give you a powerful  experience: this is almost the last shot of a short video by Erlinda Kartika about the release of a stray tiger in Sumatra.