The Big Picture of Strategy

I have always admired chess players.  Their focus, calm, and extraordinary powers of planning and finding their particular road to presumed success are indeed overpowering.  And I wondered how do they organize and make their moves as a precise ballet across so many squares involving so many figurines.

How about the pointillists with their masterpieces on canvas broken down into thousands of tiny colored brush strokes and yet reunited into beautiful and mesmerizing ensembles? How did they succeed in creating impressive pictures that offer meaning and delight viewers only at a certain distance away?

Or the D-day in Normandy with its hundreds of thousands of participants grouped per army, specialty, armament, and targets?  How was this humongous and dangerous deployment achieved with its multitude of options, probabilities, and possible outcomes? How did its master-thinkers go about drafting and implementing the plan across armies, countries, and enemies?

My answer to the questions above: thinking and planning the big picture first – before breaking it into teeny actionable morsels.  In other words: Strategy.  In sports, arts, wars.  And economy and politics and life path.  And environment, education, and anything else in between.

Chess players put together many moves ahead while being attentive about their opponent’s moves and cleverly proceed to countermeasures.  Interim sacrifices of pawns or queens are considered on the way to the ultimate victory.  Painters first define an idea and/or a meaning of the picture and then populate it with characters, scenes, lines, and specks of colors.  Military define and then split the ultimate victorious scenario into campaigns, troops, attacks, weapons – surprisingly similar to chess.

And these techniques should definitely be used in politics, business, and personal choices if we want to achieve predictable success. We are all under the weather and if we don’t take command and responsibility we will be subdued subjects of whatever may come – rain or shine.  We will pray to live under good omens, we will feel blessed by good fortune or we will complain about misfortune.  By taking the time and effort to define, assess, choose, and draft the master plan of future endeavors a country, a company or an individual improve the probability to harness the future into a comfortable series of man-made action-driven situations that promise much better odds of positive results.

The big picture of strategic thinking and planning should always dominate and command erratic bits and pieces of circumstances, events, behaviors, and emotions in order to create order, predictability and sense. Otherwise even the perfect Mona Lisa would be reduced to a bunch of colored spots.