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 conflict resolution, a win–win strategy is a collaborative strategy and conflict resolution process that aims to accommodate all participants.
In the real world, a win-win strategy is often found in diplomacy and business, often in the form of a contract or written agreement. It’s a deal where both sides win.
Literally, both sides win.
In business this is called giving your suppliers fair payment for their product or service, and providing your customers a quality product or service for a fair price. Everyone gets what they want. Everybody wins.
If you call a compromise a deal where nobody gets what they want. A win – win deal is simply I figure out what you want, I tell you what I want, and we figure out how to make both things happen. That is a win-win for both sides, so both sides are incentivized to follow the win-win strategy.
Why do I car if my opponent wins or not?
Well that is brings up the difference between a finite vs infinite game.
In a finite game, with a defined end, at the end of the game, I don’t have to face my opponents again.
Or in a viciously executed, I kill or destroy my opponents, and never face them again.
In real life, pretty much everything is an infinite game. Look at the centuries of war in most places on earth. Look at the unending business competition. Even if I destroy other businesses, the people still live to compete with me another day.
If I engage in win-win strategies for my life; I decrease conflict, increase cooperation, make friends, make allies, and set both myself and my allies up for future success and cooperation.
At it’s worst, a Win-Win strategy is a compromise where neither of us lose.
At it’s best, a Win-Win strategy sets us both up for a future of cooperation and success where resources are not wasted on competition.
A win-win strategy can create a peace where the losers of war may save face and get help rebuilding.
A win-win strategy in business can help your business partners save face and create mutually profitable deals; often sacrificing short term goals in favor of long term gains.