Formulating multifaceted strategies

Anytime we put all our eggs in one basket, we've jeopardized our chances for strategic success. We're over relying on one strategy -- as if the future is a well-known fixed target. We delude ourselves that the future will fit our predictions when we put numbers to our forecasts. We create the illusion of specificity, accuracy and predictability. We're thinking about meeting goals, rather than solving the problems that arise.

When the targeted future is moving around in fits and starts, we need a multifaceted strategy to succeed. We cannot get there on a straight and narrow path. We need to consider lots of different aspects of the future such as:

  1. which appear stable due to dynamic equilibrium, maintaining balance among several influences
  2. which are actually stagnant or stuck and due for disruption, in spite of seeming like the "rock of Gibraltar" at the moment
  3. which are in constant flux due to a lack of organization, routines, structure or oversight
  4. which are changing in response to changing contexts, situations, pressures or expectations
  5. which are following linear sequences of stages, procedures or developments
  6. which are complex processes which produce surprising outcomes from familiar components
  7. which are mirrors of how we see them, showing us our biases and displaying observer-dependent properties

When the future is a moving target, we always have lots to learn. Our multifaceted strategy needs to anticipate how we will continue to discover what's changed and incorporate those changes into our trajectories. We cannot learn what's changed when we've already made up our minds, established our targets and switched over to tactical thinking. Our only hope is to know what we don't know and to not know more than we know at any moment.

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