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Deciphering China’s Intentions: What Can Open Sources Tell Us?
July 2019 ASAN Forum report
How can we know what China’s strategic goals are in the first place? International relations theorists have long speculated based on comparative history and deductive logic, but the gold standard is evidence from China itself. Without access to privileged information about the inner workings and designs of the Chinese party-state, however, we have to make do with three categories of open source data: documentary evidence, such as party documents and non-authoritative books and articles; inferences based on China’s development of military, economic, and diplomatic power resources; and the track record of Chinese behavior, notably on contentious regional issues. Each category presents unique challenges, but can—alone and in combination—yield some insights into China’s ambitions. Thus, it is worth asking what these sources can tell us, what they cannot, and how we can apply analytic rigor to data that are often, at best, incomplete and difficult to interpret.
asan  china  strategic_thinking 
july 2019 by strohps
Opinion: Ottawa seems to be out of ideas on devising a new kind of China policy
JUNE 19, 2019 | The Globe and Mail | by DAVID MULRONEY. SPECIAL TO THE GLOBE AND
David Mulroney was Canada’s ambassador to China from 2009 to 2012.

A new approach is needed to managing Canada’s relationship with China – one that’s alive to Canadian vulnerabilities as well as our national interests.....There are many smart reasons for engaging China, but flattering the leadership in Beijing isn’t one of them. Good ideas emerge from hard thinking about long-term Canadian interests. Even summoning the vision and courage to think strategically would mark a significant improvement over our current China policy, which appears to be conjured up from equal measures of wishful thinking and parliamentary politics.....Thinking strategically requires asking why China is being so assertive, (e.g. building a blue-water navy, militarizing rocks and shoals in the South China Sea)....These are part of a patient and persistent Chinese effort to push the U.S. out of Asia and achieve regional dominance – and that is clearly not in Canada’s interest. The U.S.’s commitment to Asia enabled regional balance and, with it, peace and rising prosperity. More to the point, a China-dominated Asia would hardly be friendly to Canadian values and ideas.
(1) Abandon our current policy of “comprehensive engagement” – the notion that we should say yes to just about anything related to China. Cancel the commitment of $256-million over five years to the Beijing-based Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.
(2) reassessment of our relationship with Taiwan.
(3) move from talking about human rights in China to actually doing something about them. We normally count on the United Nations to address major human-rights abuses, but the UN, anxious to avoid offending Beijing, has been silent in the face of the government’s mass detention of Uyghurs and its brutal assault on their religion, language and culture.
(4) do the same for China’s beleaguered Tibetans. Canada’s commitment would be a welcome signal to both communities that they haven’t been forgotten.
(5) investment at home, too. Put more money into domestic security, combatting Chinese interference more effectively. And we shouldn’t be afraid to name and shame perpetrators when we discover examples of meddling; Beijing won’t like it, but it will also probably tone down its more egregious activities.
(6) invest in China competence in Ottawa, where the commodity is alarmingly scarce. Future leaders in key departments, in the security agencies and in the Canadian Forces need to be far more aware of how China works and how it thinks. This isn’t about agreeing with China, but about understanding it – something that we’re having a hard time doing at present. To do so, Ottawa should create a special “China School” that not only offers language training but also exposes top people across government to the best thinking on China’s politics, economics and security issues.
AIIB  Beijing  bootcamps  Canada  Canada-China_relations  Canadian_Forces  China  China_rising  David_Mulroney  DND  human_rights  ideas  idea_generation  maritime  national_interests  op-ed  policymaking  policymakers  political_staffers  reinvention  security_&_intelligence  South_China_Sea  strategic_thinking  Taiwan  Tibet  Uyghurs  values  wishful_thinking 
june 2019 by jerryking
To Be a Better Leader, Ask Better Questions
May 9, 2019 | WSJ | By Hal Gregersen. Dr. Gregersen is executive director of the MIT Leadership Center, a senior lecturer at the MIT Sloan School of Management and author of “Questions Are the Answer.”

1. Understand what kinds of questions spark creative thinking. The best questions really knock down barriers to creative thinking and channel energy down new, more productive pathways. A question that does has five traits. It reframes the problem. It intrigues the imagination. It invites others’ thinking. It opens up space for different answers. And it’s nonaggressive—not posed to embarrass, humiliate or assert power over the other party. Ask employees: “What are you wrestling with and how can I help?” Ask customers and supply-chain partners: “If you were in my shoes, what would you be doing differently than what you see us doing today?”
2. Create the habit of asking questions. in the early stages of building your questioning capacity, it’s helpful to start by copying other people’s questions. It’s the equivalent of practicing your scales. Once you’ve got the scales down, you can start to improvise..... management thinker Peter Drucker, liked to jump-start strategic thinking by asking: “What changes have recently happened that don’t fit ‘what everyone knows’ ”?

Another example: A leader in a consumer packaged-goods company constantly asks: “What more can we do to delight the customer at the point of purchase? And what more to delight them at the point of consumption?”......builds the habit of thinking in questions, which, in turn, leads to daily inquiry about matters large and small, and an organization that keeps pushing its competitive advantages forward.
3. Fuel that habit by making yourself generate new questions...... generate new and better questions, not to cap your questioning career at the level of playing flawless scales.
4. Respond with the power of the pause. When someone comes to you with a problem, don’t immediately respond with an answer. ........Instead, make it your habit to respond with a question—ideally one that reframes the problem, but at least one that draws out more of your colleague’s thoughts on the matter. ....not talking about the cop-out rejoinder of, “Well, what do YOU think we should do?” Help the person think through how the decision should be made, with questions like: “What are we optimizing for?” “What’s the most important thing we have to achieve with whatever direction we take?” Or: “What makes this decision so hard? What problem felt like this in the past?” You'll be teaching your colleagues the value of pausing to get the question right before rushing to the answer. And nine times out of 10, you’re going to wind up with a better answer than the one you would have blurted out with less deliberation.
5. Brainstorm for questions. Whenever you/ your team finds itself at an impasse, or there is a sense that some insight is eluding you regarding a problem or opportunity, just stop and spend four minutes generating nothing but questions about it--question bursts. Don’t spend a second answering the questions, or explaining why you posed a certain one. As in brainstorming, go for high volume and do no editing in progress. See if you can generate at least 15-20.
6. Reward your questioners. Bosses should reconceive what their primary job is. They aren’t there to come up with today’s best answers, or even just to get their teams to come up with them. Their job is to build their organization’s capacity for constant innovation.
Their enterprise’s future—and their own career trajectory—depends on their resolve to ask better questions.
books  brainstorming  creativity  creative_thinking  follow-up_questions  habits  imagination  innovation  leaders  nonaggressive  organizational_capacity  Peter_Drucker  Philip_Mudd  power_of_the_pause  problem_definition  problem_framing  questions  strategic_thinking 
may 2019 by jerryking
Andrew Marshall, Pentagon’s Threat Expert, Dies at 97 - The New York Times
By Julian E. Barnes
March 26, 2019

Andrew Marshall, a Pentagon strategist who helped shape U.S. military thinking on the Soviet Union, China and other global competitors for more than four decades, has died. He was 97. Mr. Marshall, as director of the Office of Net Assessment, was the secretive futurist of the Pentagon, a long-range thinker who prodded and inspired secretaries of defense and high-level policymakers.......Marshall was revered in the DoD as a mysterious Yoda-like figure who embodied an exceptionally long institutional memory.......... Marshall's view of China as a potential strategic adversary, an idea now at the heart of national defense strategy....Through his many hires and Pentagon grants..... Mr. Marshall trained a coterie of experts and strategists in Washington and beyond.....he cultivated thinking that looked beyond the nation’s immediate problems and sought to press military leaders to approach long-term challenges differently......His gift was the framing of the question, the discovery of the critical question..... always picking the least studied and most strategically significant subjects....Marshall’s career as a strategic thinker began in 1949 at the RAND Corporation, where his theory of competitive strategies took root. Borrowing from business school theories of how corporations compete against each other, Mr. Marshall argued that nations are also in strategic competition with one another. “His favorite example was if you can pit your strengths against someone else’s weakness and get them to respond in a way that makes them weaker and weaker, you can put them out of business without ever fighting,”....He had early insight into the economic troubles the Soviet Union was having, and helped develop strategies to exacerbate those problems and help bring about the demise of the Soviet Union....In 2009, Robert M. Gates, the defense secretary at the time, asked Mr. Marshall to write a classified strategy on China with Gen. Jim Mattis, the future defense secretary.
adversaries  assessments_&_evaluations  China  China_rising  classified  economists  éminence_grise  future  futurists  inspiration  institutional_memory  long-range  long-term  obituaries  Pentagon  policymakers  problem_framing  RAND  rising_powers  Robert_Gates  SecDef  security_&_intelligence  strategic_thinking  threats  trailblazers  uChicago 
march 2019 by jerryking
Year in a Word: Thucydides’s trap
December 18, 2018 | Financial Times | Gideon Rachman |

Thucydides’s trap

Coined by Harvard professor Graham Allison to capture the idea that the rivalry between an established power and a rising one often ends in war....The ancient Greek historian Thucydides had observed that the Peloponnesian war (431BC-404BC) was caused by “the growth of Athenian power and the fear that this caused in Sparta”....
Graham_Allison  op-ed  rivalries  Thucydides_trap  China  China_rising  conflicts  endgame  Huawei  security_&_intelligence  superpowers  rising_powers  grand_strategy  strategic_thinking  U.S.foreign_policy  U.S.-China_relations  post-Cold_War  Donald_Trump  confrontations 
december 2018 by jerryking
America, China and the art of confrontation
December 17, 2018 | Financial Times | Gideon Rachman.

Tell me how this ends? was the despairing question attributed to American generals as they contemplated the quagmires in Vietnam and Iraq. The same question needs to be asked by US policymakers now, as they consider the escalating tensions between America and China.

The world’s two most powerful countries are locked into confrontations on a range of issues, including trade, technology, espionage and control of the South China Sea. Broadly speaking, there are two ways of interpreting these clashes. The first is that Donald Trump’s administration is determined to reset the US-China relationship. The second is that the US has now embarked on an effort to block China’s rise.

The first approach focuses on objectionable Chinese behaviour; the second objects to the very idea of China as a rival superpower.

These two ways of thinking point to very different potential endings. The first approach — the reset — ultimately ends with a deal. The second approach — blocking the rise of China — points to a prolonged and deepening antagonism......but, over the long term, both Washington and Beijing must think more profoundly about “how this ends”.

The Chinese need to recognise that there has been a profound and bipartisan shift in American thinking. So trying to hoodwink Mr Trump or wait him out will ultimately not work. Instead, China has to consider much more significant changes in its policies on everything from forced technology transfer, to the South China Sea. It could be its last chance to head off a long-term confrontation with the Americans.

The US also has some thinking to do. The hawks in Washington are relishing the more overt use of US power in their confrontation with China. But they too need to think about “how this ends”.

It is not realistic to think that the US can ultimately stop China’s rise.
China  China_rising  conflicts  endgame  Huawei  rivalries  security_&_intelligence  superpowers  Thucydides_Trap  rising_powers  grand_strategy  strategic_thinking  U.S.foreign_policy  post-Cold_War  Donald_Trump  confrontations  U.S.-China_relations 
december 2018 by jerryking
Rebuilding Strategic Thinking
Oct 2018 CSIS report
This report proceeds in six parts. The first portion frames the issues. The second examines some historic context, drawn from the authors’ recent book on the National Intelligence Council (NIC). That history drives home the point that the challenges facing strategic analysis and strategy are hardly new. In the third portion, the report looks specifically at the evolution of strategic analysis through the NIC’s Global Trends series. Strategic analysis is not prediction, but it is still instructive to look at where Global Trends have been prescient and where they have not. Fourth, the report takes up instances in which the United States has been successfully strategic, seeking lessons for the future. The fifth and central part of the report addresses a handful of “challenge problems,” a set of critical challenges as examples of how strategy might make a difference. They are the kinds of current and foreseeable challenges that are most in need of strategic analysis, for which we seek not to provide answers but to articulate the questions and provide a framework for addressing them. The sixth and final part offers a conclusion that asks how the nation might drive toward a system that, in the words of one of the authors, “makes policy in the shadow of the future.” Key questions are raised such as: how does the policy choice meet the immediate needs as well as advance longer-term strategic goals and anticipate second- and third-order effects down the road? How can the government improve the chances of embedding strategic analysis in these critical issue areas?
csis  strategic_thinking 
october 2018 by strohps
MISC Magazine
A journal of strategic insight and foresight.
magazines  strategy  strategic_thinking  foresight 
october 2018 by jerryking
Guardiola: what Britain can learn from football’s philosopher king
Janan Ganesh

JANUARY 5, 2018

Guardiola’s mastery of the English Premier League is a chastening moment in national life. His foreignness is beside the point. The most cosmopolitan league in the world’s most global game is used to coaches, owners and players of exotic provenance. The sore point is his footballing style, or “philosophy”, as the sport grandiloquently puts it. He cherishes skill over physicality, baroque passing patterns over aerial punts, detailed tactics over raw volume of sweat. In short, he rejects what used to be known as the British way.
soccer  strategic_thinking  Janan_Ganesh  cosmopolitan  English_Premier_League 
january 2018 by jerryking
7 Closing Strategies to Double Your Average Sale Size
August 11 | Entrepreneur Magazine | Marc Wayshak - GUEST WRITER
Your success depends on closing bigger, better deals. Put your time and energy into prospects with the power to make large investments and introduce you to others who can do the same.

1. Get over your fear.
Many salespeople are simply too scared to sell to huge companies...... large companies face the same problems as your small customers do, just on a bigger scale. This means they need a bigger version of your solution -- and they have the budget to match. Get over your fear.

2. Stand apart from the crowd.
High-level prospects hear from an average of 10 salespeople every day. If you do what everyone else is doing, you’ll never get through to them or earn their trust. To double your average sales size, you must be intentional about standing apart from the crowd in your industry. While others pitch, you should ask questions. While others are enthusiastic, you should be low-key and genuine. While your competitors focus on their products, you should focus on your prospect’s deepest frustrations and show how you can solve them.

3. Stop selling to low-level prospects.
Selling low-level prospects harms your close rate and decreasing your average sale size. Low-level prospects simply don’t have the power or budget to tell you “yes." They’re not the decision-makers. If you want to increase the size of your sales, stop selling to prospects who lack the budget to invest in your solution.

4. Sell to decision-makers.
It’s a best practice to head straight to the top of the food chain and sell to directors, vice presidents, and C-level executives. They have the power and budget to say “yes” to your offer. If someone refers you back down the chain, you’re still landing an introduction to the right person -- by his or her boss, no less.

5. Stop cold-calling.
Cold calls are miserable. Try implementing a sales-prospecting campaign. Plan your calls, letters and emails as follow-ups to a valuable letter or package you send via FedEx. This could be a special report, unique sample or company analysis. These intentional, repeated touches over a series of months will set you up as a familiar name by the time you actually get your prospect on the phone. When a huge sale is on the line, you can afford to invest time and money to catch a single prospect’s attention.

6. Know the decision-making process.
If you’ve closed only small deals at small companies in the past, you might be accustomed to working with just one or two decision-makers at a time. In large corporations, the decision-making process can be much more complicated. One of the biggest mistakes salespeople make is failing to understand the decision-making process. Get a grasp of this early on, and you can stay in front of the right people, build value for them and close your sales at higher prices.

7. Leverage sales for introductions.
When you close one large sale at a big organization, don’t stop there. Ask new customers for introductions to others in their company or network who could benefit from your offering. You have nothing to lose by asking for introductions, but failure to do so will cost you massive opportunity and revenue.
Gulliver_strategies  sales  fear  large_companies  differentiation  sales_cycle  buyer_choice_rejection  cold_calling  referrals  prospects  JCK  executive_management  campaigns  Aimia  LBMA  strategic_thinking  close_rate  questions  thinking_big  enterprise_clients  C-suite  low-key  authenticity  doubling  the_right_people 
august 2017 by jerryking
Canada needs an innovative intellectual property strategy - The Globe and Mail
JAMES HINTON AND PETER COWAN
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, May 19, 2017

Canada has never before had a national IP strategy, so getting it right will set the stage for subsequent innovation strategies. Here are some factors that our policy makers must take into account:

(1) Canadian innovators have only a basic understanding about IP

Canadian entrepreneurs understand IP strategy as a defensive mechanism to protect their products. In reality, IP is the most critical

(2) Focus on global IP landscape, rather than tweak domestic IP rules

Canada’s IP regime, including the Canadian Intellectual Property Office, needs a strategy that reflects global norms for IP protection, protects Canadian consumers and shrewdly supports Canadian innovators.l tool for revenue growth and global expansion in a 21st-century economy.

(3) Canadian businesses own a dismal amount of IP

Although IP has emerged as the most valuable corporate asset over the past two decades, it is overlooked by Canadian policy makers and businesses.
(4) Building quality patent portfolio requires technically savvy experts

A high-quality patent portfolio needs to include issued and in-force patents, including patents outside of Canada in key markets such as the United States and Europe. Strong portfolios will also have broad sets of claims that are practised by industry, spread across many patents creating a cloud of rights with pending applications.
(5) IP benefits from public-private partnerships are flowing out of country.

Canada’s innovation strategy must consider ownership and retention of our IP as one of its core principles. Are we satisfied with perpetually funding IP creation while letting foreign countries reap the benefits?
21st._century  Canada  Canadian  defensive_tactics  digital_economy  digital_savvy  digital_strategies  high-quality  intangibles  intellectual_property  IP_generation  IP_retention  Jim_Balsillie  overlooked  patents  policymakers  portfolios  portfolio_management  property_rights  protocols  strategic_thinking 
may 2017 by jerryking
Business Model Canvas Explained | Enterprising Oxford
The Business Model Canvas is a business tool used to visualise all the building blocks of starting a business, including customers, route to market, value proposition and finance.
strategic_thinking 
january 2017 by jacobsamlarose
Settings - BMFiddle
Business Model Fiddle is a free tool for creating and sharing business models
strategic_thinking 
january 2017 by jacobsamlarose

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