Strategic Doing and Dancing Landscapes

Over on our massively open online course (MOOC) introducing Strategic Doing, a student pointed to the work of Herbert Simon an economist and political scientist.
I responded: “There is a lot of Herbert Simon’s work underlying this approach to strategy. As you know, Simon challenged the idea of rational economic behavior. He argued that in many cases we simply cannot compute an optimal choice or “the best” strategy. Indeed, in complex systems, an optimal choice cannot be known. Instead, individuals and — by extension companies and organizations — face a ‘dancing landscape’ of opportunities and risks. In sum, ex ante, there is no single best choice to follow.
“These insight drive a hole through the linear logic of strategic planning. When I understood that, I realized we needed to scrap strategic planning altogether and rethink the discipline of strategy from the ground up. We needed to focus n the generation of simple rules — heuristics — that enable us to scale down complexity and the problem of choice dramatically. We develop these heuristics based on our experience. Strategic Doing reflects our experiences doing strategy in complex, loosely connected networks for over three decades.”
Join us in our next launch of this course, coming later in August.

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