Why smart people struggle with strategy!

The Nerdship

Strategy is often seen as something really smart people do — those head-of-the-class folks with top-notch academic credentials.

But just because these are the folks attracted to strategy doesn’t mean they will naturally excel at it.

The problem with smart people is that they are used to seeking and finding the right answer; unfortunately, in strategy there is no single right answer to find. Strategy requires making choices about an uncertain future . It is not possible, no matter how much of the ocean you boil, to discover the one right answer. There isn’t one.

In fact, even after the fact, there is no way to determine that one’s strategy choice was “right,” because there is no way to judge the relative quality of any path against all the paths not actually chosen. There are no double-blind experiments in strategy.

To be a great strategist, we have to step back from the…

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