Strategic Science Blog

  • The Difference Between KPI’s and OKR’s is Night and Day

    KPI’s  – Key Performance Indicators are the business performance dashboard metrics you use to keep track of business performance (sales metrics, finance metrics, HR metrics – they vary by  industry), and sometimes progress to strategic goals if you link KPI’s to a Balanced Scorecard or similar Tool.  That’s what they are built for. OKR’s –…

  • You Don’t Know AI – The AI Strategy Guide

    Obligatory Dalle AI Generated image for “AI” and no, Dalle can’t spell “AI” IntroTL:DRWhat is it?How does it work?What can it do?What can’t it do?Who controls it?How do I leverage it?What is the strategic context?So what? Obligatory AI Disaster Meme Key Takeaways: ChatGPT is a chatbot powered by GPT AI. AI is so much more…

  • Isn’t the rest of the world sitting idle while Putin decimates Ukraine?

    No. Here’s a free Strategy Lesson. The best way to protect somone from a bully, is to empower them to stop the bully themself. Or, give a man a fish, feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, feed him for life. Replace fish with deffending your country from Russian invasion. Which only…

  • Misuse of OODA Loops – not as simple as you think

    Funny thing I always see with OODA Loops. Today it was on Linkedin between meetings. Let me start with – I’ve respected Mihai and his work for years. He’s a good business strategist. But we may disagree on this fine point. While OODA Loops and the PDCA Demming Cycle cosmetically look and sound the same,…

  • How to get into strategy work, how to do strategy.

    So honestly guys, I get asked a lot about how to get into strategy and/or consulting.  Or simply how to do a strategy. On LinkedIn, on Twitter, on Facebook.  And these days even IG and TikTok.  There are many ways to get into strategy and consulting.  Here’s what I tell the people who come to…

  • You Don’t Know Coronavirus

    You Don’t Know Coronavirus

    I’m writing this on April 24th, 2020. Much is still unknown. Much will Change. Sun Tzu said, know yourself and know your enemy, and you will never fear defeat. You don’t know CV19 – technically SARS-CoV-2, which I’m calling CV19, because the kids on Reddit taught me how to save space. “Currently, CV19 is at…

  • People Are Predictable

    Been working on the social media strategy. Tik Tok is a good place to learn how to make videos. Not always time to do the long expository essays. But something is better than nothing. So here’s some brief strategy for ya. Strategy Lesson – People only do what they know. And that means they won’t…

  • What subjects do politicians and military leaders study in order to formulate and implement grand strategies for their countries and the world?

    TLDR: Grand Strategy is not only where military strategy meets statecraft. Grand strategy is understanding everything about a nation and it’s place in the world. Agriculture, business, water, energy, weather, people, religion, pop culture, internal and external politics, risks, threats, infrastructure and foreign deals at all levels. Grand Strategists have to understand how all those moving…

  • What are the best ways to learn business strategy?

    First a quick reading list: These are Basic Books that will cover the topic broadly: Most of these are available as audio books if you prefer. Complete MBA for Dummies – to cover business basics. Doesn’t hurt to memorize. The Strategy Book by Max McKeown – Accessible, simple, covers the Basics. Memorize it. Strategy: A…

  • What is a win-win strategy?

    Oh fun. TLDR – a win – win strategy is a scenario where all stakeholders in a situation get what they want, or “win”. First, the text book. In game theory, A win–win game is a game which is designed in a way that all participants can profit from it in one way or the other. In…

  • What is the difference between a top down and bottom up design appoach?

    OK vague question, so there a a few different ways to look at it: Top Down vs Bottom up. Already been tried here: What is the difference between top down and bottom up approaches? From an organizational perspective: Top down is having the leadership develop the plan, and the push it down to those below them on…

  • Why are people from the future not time traveling to our period, assuming time travel technology is available in the future?

    Let’s assume it’s physically possible to travel backwards in time… Every one forgets the earth is a spaceship traveling through the heavens.. Some Astrophysics 101: The earth is orbiting the sun at a fast speed. The Sun is orbiting the Milky way galaxy at an even faster speed. The Milky Way galaxy is moving relative…

  • What is the difference between business strategy and a business model?

    TLDR – The business model is a part of the toolkit used in business strategy. Is a business model the same thing as a business strategy? Yes and no. Business models are how you make money and how the business works. Not just “I’m going to open a coffee shop that sells to such and…

  • Why is it that governments (or large organizations) rarely do anything intelligent?

    This is a strategic exercise in understanding how large groups of people operate. TLDR: You try getting a large group of people to agree on anything while trying to figure out how to pay for it while keeping them all out of trouble. If you can get three strangers to agree on Pizza toppings I’ll…

  • Who would win between Grand Admiral Thrawn with 6 Imperial Star Destroyers vs Grand Moff Tarkin with the first Death Star?

    This is a guilty pleasure.  Yes, I have read far too many books, and a star wars fan, and spend too much time on Quora. Honestly, this is just an illustrative exercise in assessment and investigation scenarios and options.  At first Glance, it would seem that anything vs the Death Star is no contest. But…

  • Can you be strategist and tactician at the same time?

    TLDR : YES Strategy – Longer Term – Bigger picture Tactics – Shorter Term, immediate, smaller picture But it’s a yin-yang sort of thing. Can you win today while considering how that impacts tomorrow? Can you consider pig picture, long-term consequences and positioning while getting through immediate problems and challenges? That is really called operation…

  • Why Mars? Elon Musk’s Strategy

    Why Mars? Elon Musk’s Strategy

    Why Mars?  What is Elon Musk’s Strategy? Hey guys.  I actually went over this a few times with colleagues over the  summer, and started writing this right before Elon Musk started his Mars PR campaign in September.  Just missed the chance to appear prophetic. As it is this is still a fun topic. So Ted,…

  • Is the US uninvadable?

    So kids, this is something I killed a morning  with on Quora back in April – an excuse to write about a scenario I’ve obviously been thinking about for a long time.  After a few months it’s at 161,500 views, so I figure it’s worth sharing on my blog that gets a handful of hits…

  • Can Bruce Bueno de Mesquita predict the future?

    So here’s one I first took on in Quora, and it’s a fun topic – Can Bruce Bueno de Mesquita predict the future? NYU Professor BBdM claims to predict international policy events with >90% accuracy in his book “The predictioneers game”. It seems grotesque, now we have a paper where he descibes his method. Can…

  • A New Strategic Science?

    A new strategic science. That could have so many meanings.  So what do I mean? First obviously I haven’t been publishing much on the Blog the last couple of years.  Due to a combination of things – raising a small child, some family health issues, diving in head first to help build a tech startup (which…

  • Strategy vs. Tactics (not what you expect)

    So, I got some highly unanticipated free time, so here’s a quick run through some important fundamentals.  I don’t care what you do, mastery of the fundamentals is the key to being successful, be it sports, work, or strategy. First the obligatory definitions, I could argue these, but for today we’ll go by what’s currently…

  • TED, FRY, Complexity, Systems and Strategy

    First in a series on prediction.  I hope. Today is a simple if abstract discussion.  The math of strategy.  Now the majority of my peers at ASP specifically avoid the quantitative, and most strategists I’ve encountered are  MBA’s, historians, or soldiers that are not that keen on math, and don’t have much use for it…

  • The Strategy Book

    Leo over at Zen Habits is suggesting I would be happier if I write more.  He’s probably correct. So here’s a story boys and girls… (And usual rules apply, keep Google handy for my obscure references, HTML links go stale too fast) About a year ago, an interesting gentleman named Max McKeown apparently found my inconsistent effort…

  • And we’re back – with some thoughts on the OODA Spiral

    Just short on my lunch break, but had some fascinating side discussions helping out with the strategic planning for ironically the Association of Strategic Planning (ASP). (Warning, on a reread this is heavy wonk on esoteric terminology, and I’ve found hyperlinks outside the blog to reference ideas expire and then do little good, keep google…

  • Motives, Managing Expectations, Alignment and Friction.

    So, been gone for a very long time. Explanation – life is what happens while you are making other plans.  Survived the “new normal” economy.  New day job, new house, lots of new changes. First a good strategic lesson I just picked up from a really popular blog:  The Art of Non-Conformity “…one important fact:…

  • The coolest thing I’ve seen all year (AI)

    Hi there world. First – A warning to all you young turks out there gearing up to change the world. It will vary with circumstances, but infants are resource consuming schwerpunkts, that will make it difficult to finish any other projects (Apologies for the slow trickle of articles). Teaser – the lead in is a…

  • Strategic Science on the Competitive Intelligence Podcast!

    First thing – sorry for the months without posts. The site got hacked while I was out of town, followed immediately by a nice contract that’s using 50 hours a week (paying jobs come first), and did I mention that toddlers benefit from time and attention.  I had to create the opportunities to actually plug…

  • Top Ten Strategy Tricks: #10 Schwerpunkt

    Top Ten strat­egy Tricks — Really our ten favorite strat­egy concepts. Here at strate­gic sci­ence we have a bag of tricks — mostly dif­fer­ent strate­gic tech­niques used for intel­li­gence, plan­ning, exe­cu­tion and adap­ta­tion. Things like SWOT, PESTL, five forces, value chains, PERT, Gannt Logic, Mett — TC, C4ISR, The Kill Chain… etc. Given our time…

  • The Difference Between Intelligence and Espionage

    An out­side the box strate­gic dis­cus­sion by Ted S Galpin The Dif­fer­ence Between Intel­li­gence and Espi­onage. Is a mat­ter of life and death. (2016 Bonus answer – because this article gets a ton of traffic – here’s the direct answer: Intelligence is information gathering. Espionage is illegal.  When you break the law to obtain information…

  • You don’t know Sun Tzu

    An out­side the box strate­gic dis­cus­sion by Ted S Galpin You don’t know Sun Tzu Well, actu­ally maybe you do.  But Prob­a­bly not the same way I do. I’ve been work­ing long days on the strat­egy book, and Sun Tzu cer­tainly takes some time to inter­nal­ize.   There’s a say­ing — “there’s noth­ing new under the sun.”  That’s…

  • The Problem with Competitive Intelligence

    An out side the box strate­gic dis­cus­sion by Ted S Galpin The Prob­lem with CI When keep­ing up with the CI prac­tice, a com­mon theme is CI falls on deaf ears and is heav­ily under uti­lized.  How do you fix that? In a nut­shell, if you don’t main­tain a close rela­tion­ship with your CI cus­tomers, espe­cially exec­u­tives,…

  • In Afghanistan, there are no coin­ci­dences

    In Afghanistan, there are no coin­ci­dences. An out­side the box strat­egy analy­sis by Ted S Galpin. Reprint from July 2nd, 2010 This week we’ll talk about Afghanistan, mainly because cur­rent events make it too fun not to.  Last week I orig­i­nally started doing a detail ref­er­enced the­sis on Afghanistan, but  real­ized that Strat­for has already done that, so…

  • Strat­egy bogged down by reality?

    Strat­egy bogged down by reality? A per­sonal note. Ok seri­ously, one of my prob­lems is get­ting “looped” by the every­day grind. Let’s step back a moment. What do I mean by looped? I need to explain John Boyd, his OODA loop, and a lit­tle his­tor­i­cal context. In brief, John Boyd was an Air Force Colonel, rep­utably…