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“Cause I'm gifted, I read Sun Tzu I bought a gun too so you'll never come to” Just Another Victim, Helmet and House of Pain

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“the only practical advice that we were given was that every company should send teams of people to country hotels every year to think about the future” Participant on a fifteen part course on business strategy

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What is strategy?

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“The talent of the strategist is to identify the decisive point and to concentrate everything on it, removing forces from secondary fronts and ignoring lesser objectives” C A R L V O N C L A U S E W I T Z

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“The determination of the basic long-term goals and objectives of the enterprise and the adoption of courses of action and the allocation of resources necessary for carrying out these goals” A L F R E D C H A N D L E R

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“Probably the commonest sense in which the word strategy is employed today is as a synonym for expensive” J O H N K AY

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M OH AN DAS KARAMCHAND GAN DH I 1 8 6 9 - 1 9 4 8

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Why was non-violence a strategy? • Was directed - didn’t just happen • Coherent exercise with clear goals • Consciously considered other options • Was designed specifically to influence the choices of his opponents

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“Real life consists of bluffing, of little tactics of deception, of asking yourself what is the other man going to think I mean to do. And that is what games are about in my theory.” J O H N V O N N E U M A N N

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The prisoner’s dilemma

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• Explicit strategic model was of escalation • Communication: all communication during the crisis was by military maneuver • Resolved by a phone call between the leaders • Exposed how poorly each side really understood the other

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•Game theory persists to the present day with nukes •Trident is an explicitly “game theoretical” resource because it is a second strike weapon

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Corporate strategy

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During 20th Century, much of strategy meant competing better: • Squeezing margins • Competing harder • Constant improvement Lots of corporate strategy is full of stories from this approach: C F . F O R D , T AY L O R I S M , D R U C K E R , T H E R A N D C O R P O R A T I O N , M B A S

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Here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast. Alice Through the Looking-Glass

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Marginal gains are not enough, because they can be copied

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Blue Seas Culture Alliances Three big areas that now comprise a lot of modern business strategy: 1 2 3

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Culture & Values Vision statement? That, believe it or not, is a strategy.

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All of these moves come from game theory - developing non-zero sum games. “Coopetition”.

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Why compete, expensively, when you can share the profit, and potentially generate even more?

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People think negotiation is haggling: winning somehow, probably by beating someone else. That is not a negotiation. That is an argument.

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Negotiation is really about: • Listening • Timing • Control of the process • Knowing and understanding your BATNA Rarely are there any secrets, there are only misunderstanding

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Strategic Failure

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Brexit is a wonderful example of strategic failure

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HMG approach • Referendum called to resolve party differences • Article 50 terrible vehicle for UK purposes • EU control timing • EU control process • No leverage

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HMG conduct of A50 process • No objective • “Playing the man, not the ball” • Needlessly destroying goodwill • Hilarious BATNA posturing • Hilarious claims about our Sooper Sekrit negotiating position

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Thank you for listening [email protected] @IsotomaDoug