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NARCOS and the game beyond the game

A critical aspect of strategic thinking is the ability to determine one’s strategy in the game at hand by anticipating games in the future. It is especially important to foresee games that may be spawned by playing the game one is offered now.

Such anticipation can be a very smart move. Inability to do so […]

By |August 1st, 2018|Uncategorized|0 Comments

PoS June 2018 | Is doing nothing a strategy?

Sometime in 2012, a small company in Tamil Nadu (India) developed manure containing natural plant growth hormones, from seaweed. The gel had to be diluted with appropriate quantity of water before being applied to the soil. Quite quickly the company established a niche with a volume of approximately 10 MT per month.

Lure of profits
Soon, […]

By |June 30th, 2018|Uncategorized|0 Comments

PoS May 2018 | Karnataka Election through the Lens of Game Theory

The May 2018 state legislative assembly election in Karnataka (India) reveals interesting applications of Game Theory. The drama that unfolded offers insightful lessons for strategists.

Setting up the game 

A week before the election, Sonia Gandhi anticipated that Congress might not win an outright victory. She requested Sitaram Yechury, the Communist Leader, to reach out to […]

By |May 31st, 2018|Uncategorized|0 Comments

PoS Apr 2018 | Intuitive mind and business shipwrecks

A number of my readers had responded to my March piece (Anticipation – A Special Skill of the Astute Strategist) by asking HOW. How can one develop the capacity and skill to foresee possible consequences of how the game is played? How does the astute strategist anticipate future games?

A good way to explore that question is […]

By |May 1st, 2018|Uncategorized|0 Comments

PoS Mar 2018 | Anticipation – A Special Skill of The Astute Strategist

A very important quality of the strategic mind is the ability to foresee a sequence of events one’s actions or strategies can trigger. Their consequences may be quite unacceptable yet wholly avoidable, if we could just anticipate how things might turn out. Here’s an instance.

A homeless man in McDonald’s
A gentleman had brought a homeless […]

By |March 20th, 2018|Uncategorized|2 Comments

PoS Feb 2018 | Resolving Mr. Sharma’s Problem

A strategist’s mind examines a problem from the point of view of other players that compete with, buy from, or supply to us. Inability to do so can cause serious errors of judgement.

A window to our minds
To explore how experienced managers handle issues of this nature, I wrote about Mr. Sharma’s problem in December […]

By |February 3rd, 2018|Uncategorized|0 Comments

PoS Dec 2017 | Mr. Sharma has a problem!

Competitive bidding is a fascinating subject; it is as much about business as about the workings of the human mind. The desire to achieve results prompts individuals to adopt strategies that reveal lessons from Game Theory. This issue relates to one such story.

Standard Metals, a large and reputed producer of steel, has bid to […]

By |December 30th, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments

PoS 29 Nov 2017 | Is it okay to manipulate people’s preferences?

The extraordinary power of the spoken or written word, to persuade, is undisputed. Leaders routinely rely upon them to convince stakeholders to adopt the preferred direction or option. But rarely do they use the principles of Behavioural Economics to shape their narratives.

In his Nobel Prize winning work on Prospect Theory, Daniel Kahneman, the father of […]

By |November 30th, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments

PoS Nov 17 | Is Jet Airways ready to take advantage of Indigo’s slip?

Lately there have been a number of unpleasant incidents with airlines. In India,the ground staff of Indigo Airlines manhandled a flyer on the tarmac. Another Indian Airline, Air Asia, was in a spot when a woman flyer lodged a police complaint against three staff for harassing and one of them for inappropriate behaviour. The […]

By |November 16th, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments

PoS Sept 17 | Finding the RIGHT doctor: A Case in Strategic Decision Making

Most people, especially managers, associate decision-making with work. This is a narrow view. Many of our most important decisions are about our health, wealth, and happiness. Consider the need to find the RIGHT doctor if you or a family member has a life threatening or debilitating condition that requires major surgery.

In such situations, we […]

By |September 29th, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments

PoS May 17 | True test of leadership in murder and mayhem

We have all read about the publicity nightmare United Airlines went through in April 2017. What can we learn from it on decision-making in a crisis?

United in crisis
On April 9, at the request of United’s manager, security officials forcibly removed a passenger from an overbooked flight in Chicago airport. Videos of the bleeding passenger being […]

By |June 12th, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments

PoS April 17 | Why are you afraid to say who you are?

Have you noticed that the vast majority of job applicant résumés say nothing about the person?

They say a lot about professional aspects of the individual. Career experience is carefully outlined with names of companies, positions held and periods served. Many – too many, if you ask me – skills are detailed. Achievements are extolled […]

By |April 27th, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments

PoS March 17 | How to game your performance appraisal

It is fascinating to observe instances of strategy (or the lack of it) in personal, professional and social pre-occupations. ‘Perspectives on Strategy’ is my monthly missive wherein I discuss seemingly simple situations loaded with mysteries of strategy – what if? what if not? And the like.

By |March 29th, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments

PoS Feb. 17 | What, no interviews?

As a strategy consultant, clients often seek my advice in hiring decisions. That said, the years of experience haven’t in any way diminished the uncertainty or the challenge inherent in a hiring decision. A recent event only reaffirmed it.

I had been responsible, partly at least, for a case of poor hiring. A gentleman I […]

By |February 24th, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments

PoS Nov 16 | Demonetization, Cognitive Bias, and Decision Making

India’s demonetization exercise has taken the country by storm. Amid widespread support from the masses, there is now a growing body of criticism from citizens, political parties, and economists. Arguments range from bringing misery to people, slowing macroeconomic growth, to whether it will have any long-lasting impact on black money. We will know for […]

By |November 22nd, 2016|Uncategorized|0 Comments

PoS Oct 16 | How can you grow profitably in a commoditized industry?

What would you do if you are in a commoditized and fragmented industry? Can you shape your firm’s destiny, or would you forever be consigned to lament your misfortune?

A chicken and egg situation
The Indian poultry industry is at such a crossroad. At over INR 900 billion (90,000 Crores) it is the second largest producer […]

By |October 21st, 2016|Uncategorized|0 Comments

PoS Sept 16 | What spurs innovation in organisations?

lang: en_US

You may recall I conducted a workshop titled Insight, Intuition, and Innovation in Bangalore and Mumbai in July this year. At the centre of the workshop was the question - What spurs innovation in organisations? Two glaring misconceptions emerged from the discussion.

Some felt it is creative people. They offered the example of advertising agencies. You have […]

By |September 15th, 2016|Uncategorized|0 Comments

POS APR 16 | How Hard Is It To Build An Innovative Organisation?

Why does innovation thrive in some firms? Why do others lose the creative edge?

Human creativity springs from insight and intuitive thinking. Cognitive bias, the unintended byproduct of intuition, plays spoilsport and throws us off course. Innovative organisations, therefore, follow a three pronged startegy. They encourage intuitive thinking, strengthen insight, and neutralise bias.

Make Haste Slowly
Studies […]

By |April 19th, 2016|Uncategorized|0 Comments

POS MAR 16 | Does Intuition Help or Hinder Innovation?

In my February post, I wrote about how innovative ideas spring from insights – realisation of a solution or a path to it. Where and how do insights germinate? It is necessary to understand that to foster creativity and innovation.

Two systems of thinking
We think using two mostly parallel minds – intuitive, and analytical. Intuitive thinking is spontaneous, […]

By |March 14th, 2016|Uncategorized|0 Comments

POS FEB 16 | What has Archimedes’s Eureka have to do with running a business?

Innovation has become a fashionable word. Most organisations swear innovation is their strategy. Yet, how a firm can be innovative and where it should direct its creative forces is not at all clear to most.

Practically no one is doing anything pathbreaking.

Fruits of innovation
Creativity or innovation is the fruition of a novel idea into a […]

By |February 26th, 2016|Uncategorized|0 Comments