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Steps Towards Business Agility. On Situational Awareness, OODA "Loops" and Wardley Mapping.

About the Book

What is strategy?

Why do you need it?

How do you do it?

And, how can you be more certain to succeed?

THE ART OF STRATEGY provides timeless answers to these eternal questions. It is a short introduction to strategy through the insights of three successful strategists: Sun TzuJohn Boyd and Simon Wardley. It is a modern reading of Sun Tzu’s The Art of War — the strategy classic written in China around 500 BC — using the lenses of Boyd (OODA "loop" inventor) and Wardley (Wardley Map inventor) who were both influenced by Sun Tzu.

Each chapter gently transforms The Art of War into a modern business setting and includes material from Boyd and Wardley in separate sections to complement and clarify Sun Tzu’s terse, poetic text. The idea is to serve strategy in 13 short chapters requiring 5–10 minutes reading time each. An extensive glossary is included since many Chinese concepts are purposefully abstract and ambiguous.

You will discover new thinking patterns, e.g. OODA "loops" and situational awareness, as well as visualization tools like Wardley Maps that will help you and your organization succeed together with your stakeholders. You will also improve your understanding of the – sometimes evil – political gameplays (and counter-measures!) by Boris JohnsonDonald TrumpVladimir Putin and Xí Jìnpíng who are all inspired by Sun Tzu, in some cases indirectly via Boyd.

The Art of Strategy — a great little book which has loads of maps in there.” Simon Wardley, inventor of Wardley Mapping

An excellent fusion of SunTzu, Boyd, and Wardley that is beautifully laid out, highly readable and very straightforward in compressing the learning curve on all three!“ Mark J. McGrath, Chief Learning Officer at AGLX

"Erik Schön has created a great example of Boyd’s 'snowmobile' — a synthesis across a variety of domains leading to new insights and capabilities. I’m sure every strategist, business leader, and entrepreneur will find valuable ideas for making their own enterprises more competitive." Chet Richards, author of Certain to Win: The Strategy of John Boyd, Applied to Business

"The Art of Strategy is condensed knowledge that all managers, agile coaches and other leaders should have. This is three thinkers from very different contexts. But as Erik has put it, with similarities and differences topic by topic, a fourth voice appears. That voice belongs to the interaction between the three narrators and it gives as much value to me as a reader as the other three voices do." Staffan Nöteberg, author of Monotasking

"THE summary and independent look on modern strategy right now!!!" Markus Andrezak, Founder and Managing Partner at überprodukt

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About the Author

Erik Schön
Erik Schön

Erik Schön has successfully developed and deployed strategy for over 20 years in small, medium and large organizations. Hacker, software researcher and system engineer turned leader, executive and strategizer, Erik is leading global organizations in complex product development and service delivery.

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Table of Contents

  • Introduction What is strategy and why do you need it?     9
  • Acknowledgements Standing on the shoulders of giants     13
  • 1. Assessments How to assess, prepare and shape     17
  • 2. Challenges How to use and reduce inertia, entropy and friction     31
  • 3. Success How to succeed together with stakeholders     41
  • 4. Setup How to create resilience     49
  • 5. Momentum How to use creativity, focus and timing     59
  • 6. Shaping How to shape and avoid being shaped     69
  • 7. Engagement How to engage using surprise     75
  • 8. Adaptations How to adapt to shifting situations     85
  • 9. Movements How to move to optimize momentum     97
  • 10. Landscape How to approach difficult areas     109
  • 11. Situations How to handle difficult situations     117
  • 12. Disruption How to disrupt and avoid being disrupted     131
  • 13. Intelligence How to use intelligence to create foreknowledge     143
  • Sources     147
  • Glossary     155
  • Index     185
  • List of Figures     191

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