Friday, November 4, 2011

How to Think Like a Cheetah

Day 2 of the mind meld between my colleague at Pathfinder  and I.
 As a mash-up of Ivy league smarts and State school grit we are trying to creating a model of the strategic environment to help forecast capability requirements.

The chart here represents the data being applied to the theory.
Using the evaluations of stability and interdependence  a quadrant is created to plot an actor’s application of power relative to the international community. Stability, an actor’s effectiveness of government, creates either a stable or an unstable conditions within their sphere of influence (or national border). Interdependence, is a relation between its actors such that each is mutually dependent on other actors in the system. .
The resulting quadrant is defined in the following categories: interdependent-stable, independent-stable, independent-unstable, and interdependent-unstable.
Our hypothesis is that conflict would occur predominantly by unstable actors behaving unilaterally. Following this, stable actors who are inclined to cooperate with other actors are less prone to conflict. We also postulate that the transition from independent to interdependent and unstable to stable may also result in conflict.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Cheetah in Action!

New Drivers and Cheetahs

The summer before I turned sixteen I attended a Driver’s Ed class, you know the place where a bunch of “just over the crest of puberty but still in the hormone jungle” kids learn to drive, great place. Before we ever got behind the wheel of the car there were several classes on how to drive, going over the mechanics of driving and of course short videos of death and dismemberment.  These necessary classes garnered little attention from a group that was more concerned about how to get to the mall than the average reaction time when confronted with immediate stops.  Although I can be lumped in with the mall crowd something from one of the “pre-driving” classes stuck with me,   a human can only see as fast as it walks.  The thought is that when a person begins to drive he or she cannot “see” as fast as the car goes and over time your eyes adjust to the vehicle's speed.  This adjustment time isn’t the first few minutes spent behind the wheel,  or just giving your eyes time to correct.  This process takes months or even years based on how much a person drives.  This same concept translates over to the cheetah.  A cheetah is able to see as fast as it runs, pick out prey and identify obstacles along the way.  In the same way a strategic planner can only think as far as he has been conditioned, similar to barely-post pubescent teenage drivers and cheetahs.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Strategic Thinking?

Thinking like a Cheetah. 
Cheetahs and strategy have nothing in common, as a matter of fact they are probably on opposite ends of the spectrum.   Strategy is not quick.  It is not tactical in nature and  does not deal with individual engagements and interactions.  Strategy is orchestrating the interplay of interactions and deciding if you should even participate in one, it requires an individual to look over the horizon. Cheetahs are fast, able to react and make split second decisions.  A Cheetah can quickly separate the weak from the strong.  So why should a strategist think like a cheetah?  The answer to this question is the foundation for the training of a strategic planner.