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Fifteen Puzzle and the Art of Choice

Submitted by on January 26, 2014 – 11:08 amNo Comment

Recently I put to paper what I mean when I use the word strategy.  In a sentence:

Strategy is the art of choice that involves defining a clear intention, conducting a sober assessment of means and context, sequencing actions in priority and developing a clear and communicable theory of victory.

The art of choice is all about factoring your intention against the means at your disposal and the operating context you are in.

The truth for every company is that at any given moment there are more problems than the business can possibly address.   Any company by default  has limited resources to apply to problem solving.   It is like the child’s game of Fifteen Puzzle – a constrained set of options to move the pieces into alignment.  Every choice counts and you can’t move every piece at once.  While this may seem obvious in the abstract, it is incredibly difficult for organisations to prioritise their problems, build a sequence of action and stop existing projects that are wasting valuable resource.

Those with clear enough heads to focus on the Art of Choice are the ones who actually get meaningful work done, create forward movement and open the board up to more choices.  We could learn a lot from children’s games.

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