Strategigram: Head on the plate

ET brings the twenty-fourth episode of StrategyGram’s weekly series.

This week’s ‘Head on a Platter’, Strategigram is part of a series created by brand strategy consultant Sattar Khan. Each strategygram summarizes a strategic idea in one image. The Collectibles series is a visual guide to strategic thinking and provides easy image prompts for your brand strategy workouts.

This is an old trick that all strategists have in mind: Knocked outअचानकA sudden attack at a time, or in a place, or in a manner that sends the stunned enemy into oblivion.

In the 13th century BC, the Greeks attacked the Trojan Horse on Troy and destroyed the impregnable city that had remained until then.

Hannibal did an unimaginable feat in 218 BC: he forcibly marched Carthaginian troops on the snow-capped Alps with his fierce North African war elephants, and defeated enemy forces who had no idea of ​​attacking the mountains.

David shot Goliath in the valley of Ella with a sling शस्त्र a powerful, six-foot-nine-inch Philistine warrior unimaginable.

From the playbook that Sun Tzu explained in about 430 BC, it may seem that all the perpetrators of the surprise attack were at work. The art of war:

“All war is based on deception. So, while being able to attack, you should feel incapable; You should look passive while using your power; When we are near, we must convince the enemy that we are far away; While away, we must convince him that we are close.

What about the amazing attacks in business life? Consider the serious case of a reputable Finnish manufacturer.

In 2006, the company launched a range of reliable, state-of-the-art mobile handsets; Globally, this category dominates, with about 40% of the market; And it generated about 4% of Finland’s GDP and, at one point, the highest valuation of all European companies.

Big, rich and famous. But? Insecure.

The Finnish company fell victim to a double attack. First, the Cupertino-based company introduced the smartphone in June 2007. The phone was aesthetically pleasing, with a touch-screen interface display; Easy to use, requires only one function button; And was app-rich with a versatile operating system.

Second, the Internet-search-engine giant launched its own smartphone operating system in September 2008, offering it to any mobile phone handset manufacturer.

We all know what happened to this double entry into the mobile phone business of companies in the computer and internet sector. The Finnish manufacturer’s market share plummeted, the company was sold in 2013, and by 2015 its market share had shrunk to 1%, with the new owner closing the business.

The commercial world is engulfed by the phenomenon of unexpected entry of competitors. For example, the Switzerland-based global brand leader in packaged instant coffee was surprised by the rapid, enormous growth of the Seattle-based coffeehouse chain नुसार according to the latest count, the chain had more than 32,000 retail outlets in 80 countries आणि and decided to pay the US. विशेष 7.15 billion in 2018 for special licenses for marketing of chain packaged coffee and capsules.

What prevents you from catching, evaluating, and acting on warning signs? More than anything else, the fault lies with our own mindset – we don’t want to see what we don’t want to see or expect to see.

In the preface to Roberta Wallstarter’s 1962 book, Pearl Harbor: Warning and JudgmentNobel laureate Thomas Schelling makes it clear: “There is a tendency in your planning to confuse strangers with impossible things.”

We feel that there is no possibility of something happening because of the statement we have in our minds, so we ignore or discount the information that confirms it.

Everyone knows about the Japanese sneak attack on Pearl Harbor. But consider this: in 1941, the Americans not only expected a Japanese attack, but on the day of the attack, December 7, they missed three clear signs.

First, at 6:45 a.m., five minutes before the attack began at 7:55 a.m., U.S. Army radar operators in Pearl Harbor noticed two unidentified planes approaching Pearl Harbor. Unfortunately, the radar operator had no way of identifying the aircraft as Japanese because the Navy did not inform the military about the aircraft’s identity.

Second, at 3.20am, the U.S.S. Condor Reaching the port entrance, he found a periscope. Minesweeper immediately alerted the destructive USS WardWho was on sentry duty at the port entrance.

A search was launched for the submarine but it was not found, so the views were dismissed as “bogus” and Captain Outerbridge in charge of the USS Ward, His first ship command, went back to sleep in his cabin. (Periscope was one of five 46-ton Japanese submarines attacking U.S. warships in the harbor.)

At 6.30am, the store sailors searching the USS Antares Saw the submarine’s Conning Tower and alerted the USS Ward. When the phone rang in Captain Outerbridge’s cabin, the officer on deck shouted, “Captain, come to the bridge!” Captain Outerbridge’s response was to slam the junior officer for the manner in which he was addressing the senior officer, but when the officer repeated, “Captain, come on the bridgeOuterbridge realized from the junior officer’s tone that something was serious. He ran to the bridge.

USS Ward Two shots were fired from his four-inch gun, the second shot hitting the bottom of the Japanese submarine’s Conning Tower. USS Ward The submarine then sank with depth charges.

USS Ward The duty officer at Pacific Fleet headquarters was immediately alerted: “We attacked a submarine operating in the defensive sea area, fired and dropped room charges.” The duty officer at Pacific Fleet headquarters, instead of immediately sounding the alarm, asked to verify the report.

Third, at 7.02am, two junior radar operators on the northernmost tip of Oahu Island noticed a large vertical spike on their oscilloscope. Radar had taken out 183 Japanese aircraft for the first wave of attacks. Radar operators immediately called the Air Information Center at Fort Schafter about a large number of incoming aircraft. At the time, the plane was 88 miles from its target.

Lieutenant Kermit Tyler of Fort Shafter assumed the plane was a B-17 that was due to arrive from the West Bank that morning. In a phone conversation with the radar operator in Oahu, Lieutenant Tyler failed to mention that only a dozen B-17s would arrive, and the radar operator failed to mention that the echo of the oscilloscope indicates more than 50 aircraft. Lieutenant Tyler did not need to take further action.

The attack killed 2,403 Americans and destroyed or damaged 19 American ships, including eight warships.

Of course, this was not the only incident of missed warnings about major attacks during World War II. For example, in a report titled ‘Coping with Surprise in Great Power Conflicts’ published by Mark Kansian in 2018, Stalin received 84 documented hints about the impending German invasion of the Soviet Union.
Stalin refused to believe those hints – with confirmed reports of German military movements and reconnaissance overflies – and punished such irritating news carriers, including the Gulag or the firing squad.

The price of that mentality? World War II claimed the lives of more than 24 million Soviets.

When you don’t want to believe something, it’s hard for you to accept the opposite. Sometimes the trap feels so enticing without falling prey to it.

Of course, this is the ultimate trick: use your opponent’s own will, faith, and willpower to attack.

On his way back to Troy, for example, the Laocone, a clergyman, suggested that the Trojan horse was a trap: Helen of Troy also argued that the Trojan horse is a trap, which she thought hid inside the horse to mimic the voices of the wives of highbrow soldiers, but when Anticulus, one of the soldiers inside the horse, tried. He thought his wife was out. To answer him, Odysseus covered Anticles’ face with his hand.

Cassandra, the daughter of King Prem and Chetak of Troy, was adamant that the horse kingdom would fall, but she was disregarded.

Ah, the price of denial and then cheating! No one is as blind as the one who cannot see. When you refuse to see danger for your team, you are in danger.
What can help you to develop a more alert and agile attitude? A range of techniques, such as landscape planning, war gaming, and causal layered analysis.

Situation planning It makes you think a lot Possible– Not only that Possible– Observe key indicators of futures, emerging scenarios and prepare for action adapted to the situation.

War games While the red team plays the role of your opponent and tests your defense and strength against competitive attacks, the purple team, which includes both the red team (attacker) and the blue team (defender), forces you to scrutinize several approaches to better rounding solutions. .

Causal stratification analysis Quantitative trends guide you through their underlying social causes (economic, political, cultural, historical) and the in-depth relationship between metaphor and myth.

Like any skill, Institutional vision Is developed with proper practice and is rooted in the culture of the organization. You don’t expect a single gym session to build lasting muscle strength; So, why would you expect an offsite session planning one-off situation to build the foresight muscle of an organization? No brownie points for To know About strategic foresight, just for Practice That

You, as a strategist, try to understand your potential opponents in both places Organizational And Personal Levels It is important to gain insights into the culture, style and resources of potentially competitive organizations but not enough. It is also important to find out how specific individuals प्रमुख the key decision makers in those organizations विचार think and act differently. This is the dual-level approach of organizations and key decision makers that you keep in mind when scanning the horizon.

And yet, we are not just looking in the direction of facts; See also how facts can show Against Direction.

Not all surprise attacks are successful – the attacking party can be more flexible and strong than expected. Even so, owning one is still beyond the reach of the average person.

Not all surprises are predictable but many are avoidable. The vaccine is a preparation against a sudden attack and it only comes from a risk assessment. Where an attack is not expected, there is no defense.

You don’t want to be surprised; You want to be surprised.

Why put your head in the hands of the enemy?

Check out the first twenty-three strategygrams: ‘Speed ​​Kills’,’ Half Bridge Don’t Work ‘,’ No Contest ‘,’ The Silent Clue ‘,’ Who’s For Lunch? ‘,’ Speed ​​Is A Monster ‘,’ The Distinctive ‘The Difference’ , ‘Strategy as Story’, ‘Timing Beats Speed’, ‘Conquering Fort Customer’, ‘How Are You Different?’, ‘The Villain and the Hero Inside’, ‘Galileo’s Discovery’, ‘The Strategic Logic Chain’, ” ‘The Brand Experience Trio’, ‘Deer in the Headlights’, ‘Do the Mathematics’, ‘Insight is Like a Tram Car’, ‘The Leap of Insights and Ideas’, ‘The Three Monkeys of Strategy’, ‘Breakthrough in Question’, Troubleshooting Tango And ‘moving towards simplicity’.

-Sattar Khan can be contacted at