Why a strategy is not a plan

Strategy: A History. By Lawrence Freedman. Oxford University Press USA; 751 pages; $34.95. Buy from Amazon.com EVERYONE, it seems, is in need of a strategy….

Source: www.economist.com

Rarely do I recommend a book review in my blogging, but what I do know about is Strategy and this was an excellent review of a great book.    Here’s my synopsis of the review

Strategy is relevant for politics, war as well as in business:

  1. The idea of knockout victory keeps getting knocked down (its actually a myth promoted by writers)
  2. Initial success is hardly ever decisive, 
  3. If you win power, you still have all the problems of trying to govern; if you have a run of success with some great products or an innovative business model, it does not mean you will stay on top for ever. 
  4. Strategy, it turns out, is really about trying to work out in a sensible way how to get from one stage to the next. (Moving from one Minimum Winning Game to the next).
  5. With each stage a new set of problems has to be negotiated before you move beyond it. 
  6. There is no end point: strategy is not simply a grander name for a plan, something that moves you forwards in predetermined steps. 
  7. As Helmuth von Moltke, a 19th-century German field-marshal, put it: “No plan survives contact with the enemy.” 
  8. As Mike Tyson, put it: “Everyone has a plan ’til they get punched in the mouth.” 
  9. A strategy that starts with objectives and works backwards is one that is likely to fail.

While strategy is especially in fashionable business books, it depends on using narrative both to explain a proposed course of action and recruit support for it.  – But stories taken out of context and conveniently edited can be an unreliable guide.


The author Sir Lawrence concludes that it may be better to look at strategy as a form of script, albeit one which incorporates the possibility of chance events, which attempts to anticipate the interactions of many players over a long time and which is open-ended, so expect the myriad twists and turns.  


– The sobering lesson after 630 pages of wide-ranging erudition and densely packed argument is that although it is usually better to have some kind of strategy than not, unless you are prepared to adapt it as circumstances change it is unlikely to do you much good.

See on Scoop.itInternet of Things – Company and Research Focus

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Before Radar there was Giant WWI “war tubas”

In WWI, warfare got really loud. How armed forces detected airships before radar.

Source: mashable.com

Detecting engine noises (of enemy aircraft) at greater distances allowed more time to prepare a response. Large and elaborate detectors were experimental, and their efficiency varied widely. A number of designs were quite striking, such as the Japanese acoustic locators nicknamed “war tubas.”  –  Their use continued until the early years of WWII, but increases in aircraft speeds and the development of radar rendered them obsolete.  – The point of this post is that technology on how to solve problems evolves and gets better at doing what it is intended to do, this if anything is the evolution of mankind, is the evolution of the tools that it uses to get things done.

See on Scoop.itLow Power Heads Up Display

IBM to pump $3 billion into new IoT business unit

The IBM IoT Cloud Open Platform could ingest and analyze Internet of Things data for enterprises

Source: www.networkworld.com

IBM General Manager Chris O’Connor will oversee the new unit, which will initially court enterprises in travel, logistics, insurance, public utilities, transportation and retail.  –  IBM will also tailor a new cloud service, the IBM IoT Cloud Open Platform, providing a way for enterprises to build their own data-driven systems,. Over time, it will also develop specialized packages for specific fields like the insurance industry.

See on Scoop.itInternet of Things – Company and Research Focus

Intel Corporation and Micron join together to produce 3-D storage chips

  Intel Corporation and Micron join together to produce 3-D storage chips The two high-tech American multinational chip producers – Intel Corporation and Micron – have decided jointly to produ…

Source: technewsvalue.wordpress.com

More on the Intel/Micron strategic technology development effort – Intel news today elaborated that the new chip producing technology would produce chips at a lower cost. Apart from Micron and Intel Corporation, the South Korean high-tech company, Samsung, has also announced production of 3-D NAND chips. The flash memory chip manufacturer, SanDisk Corp, has also announced the launch of high storage capacity chips. These chips feature 48 layers of circuitry rather than 32. Now it is yet to be seen that to what extent the newly developed chips are able to play a role in expanding the data storage capacity of advance portable devices.

See on Scoop.itInternet of Things – Company and Research Focus

Glowing Tampons Help Detect Sewage Leaks

“You do get people looking at you strangely, but the tampon is not that obvious.”

Source: www.wired.com

Strange but true – Why? It turns out tampons are an accurate and cheap way to sample water quality.  –  “Grey water” contamination is a common problem — water from dishwashers, showers, and laundry that ends up in the storm sewer via incompetent plumbing or deliberate dumping.  Before you decide that grey wash water isn’t that bad, as an FYI all sorts of non-lovely things live in your washing machine: norovirus and rotavirushuman pathogenic fungi; and of course a wide variety of fecal bacteria.  Dishwashers are not much better. – Now if we could only make those glowing tampons “smart” and let us know when it’s got some nasty pathogens and send information to the researcher.

See on Scoop.itInternet of Things – Technology focus

Diving into data: WeMo & IoT

The annual SXSW festival has yet to begin when The Drum meets with Belkin’s chief marketing officer, Kieran Hannon at the Four…

Source: www.thedrum.com

Belkin CMO Kieran Hannon discusses how Belkin is using the data it receives through its connected products, saying the company needs to “sift through” the abundance of data to create insights from it.  – “In most cases there are seven or eight key data points that really help you to understand behaviour and so what will those key insights be? For a lot of packaged goods companies, this is a phenomenal way to understand how people interact with their products. They don’t have a real-time mechanism for understanding that. You think of fast food or brands that have home appliances that are passive that pushes stuff out based on their user treatment. Now they have got to be able to talk to each other in a way that makes it all meaningful.”

See on Scoop.itInternet of Things – Company and Research Focus

New Thingalytics Book Explores How Companies Are Unleashing the IoT

Smart homes, machines with feelings, algorithm police and self-regulated transport networks are just some of the exciting concepts explored in a new b

Source: www.businesswire.com

Dr. Bates, chief marketing officer, head of industry solutions and member of the executive board, Software AG noted: “Thingalytics is happening now. Market leaders and fast followers are in the midst of a digital transformation. This brave new world of smarter machines, and the humans who engage them, will change every industry and every market segment. It will also change how we live our lives.”

See on Scoop.itInternet of Things – Technology focus

Will open source save the Internet of Things?

Middleware standards based on open source could be the glue that pulls IOT solutions together.

Source: www.networkworld.com

“Device manufacturers have taken up open source software at the operating system level at a 40% – 50% share, but there’s also a lot of proprietary and legacy software embedded in devices and that will continue,” says Bill Weinberg, senior director at Black Duck Software.  –  “And applications will probably be proprietary because they represent an opportunity, at least in the mind of device manufacturers, to provide exclusive differentiation,”  

See on Scoop.itInternet of Things – Technology focus

Wearables in the Enterprise Take Different Path than BYOD Predecessors

The top-down approach that will ensure the success of some wearables in the enterprise is becoming more apparent daily. Here’s why.

Source: www.itbusinessedge.com

Wearables will be a big deal in the enterprise and companies need to plan for them. The first step, ironically, is to understand what they are not: a simple extension of Bring Your Own Device.

See on Scoop.itWearable Tech and the Internet of Things (Iot)

Wearable technology can help with public speaking

Speaking in public is the top fear for many people. Now, researchers from the Human-Computer Interaction Group at the University of Rochester have developed an intelligent user interface for ‘smart glasses’ that gives real-time feedback to the speaker on volume modulation and speaking rate, while being …

Source: phys.org

However, there was no statistically significant difference among the three groups on eye contact, use of filler words, being distracted, and appearing stiff, judged by the Mechanical Turk workers. As part of their future work, the researchers want to test their system with members of Toastmasters International as a more knowledgeable audience.  – The researchers also believe that live feedback displayed in a private and non-intrusive manner could also be useful for people with social difficulties (e.g., Asperger syndrome), and even for people working in customer service

See on Scoop.itWearable Tech and the Internet of Things (Iot)