Sunday, July 13, 2008

Strategy isn't a Direction

Someone called Guilhem (possibly a descendent of Guilhem de Peitieu) dismissed my post on Enterprise Architect - Joke or Joker with the comment

"i am sure you are the kind of guy who enjoys driving strategic direction through technology initiatives"

I am not quite sure what I said to give him that impression. My view of strategy is a bit like a dungeons and dragons game or Maoist opera ("Taking Tiger Mountain by Strategy") - you pursue (not drive) a complex strategy, going in many directions, sometimes picking up useful tools (technology initiatives), which may help to kill or tame some of the dragons (or Kuomintang bandits).

But of course there is an important difference. In a game, every tool you find may have some meaning or use within the context of the game. In real life (or work, which is the nearest approximation to real life for most of us), the dungeons are littered with flashy software and services, and the best strategy is to ignore most of it. (Twitter, anyone?)

But not all of it. Find some useful tools, and learn to use them properly and appropriately: that's my technology initiative.

1 comment:

David said...

Hi Richard,

Technology initiative mean little with out the business goal.

People are to passionate about technology and often forget about it's purpose which is a ***tool***.

A workperson looks after his/her tools because they help that person perform their job that pays a wage that allows them to have a life outside of work.

Yes I so no bad thing in getting passionate about a tool, I like my car very much specially as I live in the middle of the English countryside and not in a crowded city this is what this tools gives me.

People who think a little to much of their tools need some perspective.

Now to the point, Generals used tools, weapons, troops and intangible tools like tactics and formations. To achieve their goals of winning the battles. That all in some small part helped to win wars. This is strategy. A tool is a small part of a wonderious and complex set of abstractions that help humankind whether a country in a war to an organisation wanting to be number 1 in it's market to the small market trader who needs to make £100 a day achieve their goals.