The Art of Strategy


A modern reading of Sun Tzu’s Art of War using the lenses of strategists John Boyd and Simon Wardley (swardley). What is strategy? Why do you need it? How do you do it? The Art of Strategy provides timeless answers to these eternal questions! (All chapters).

The Art of Strategy is a short introduction to strategy through the insights of three strategists: Sun Tzu, John Boyd and Simon Wardley (swardley). It is a modern reading of Sun Tzu’s Art of War — the strategy classic written in China around 400 BC — where I use the lenses of Boyd (OODA Loop inventor) and Wardley (Wardley Map inventor). Each chapter gently transforms Sun Tzu into a modern business setting and includes material from Boyd and Wardley in separate sections to complement and clarify Sun Tzu’s terse, poetic text. The idea is to serve strategy in 13 short chapters requiring 5–10 minutes reading time each.

I hope it will inspire more people to start strategizing together using Wardley Maps. I also wish for it to act as a gateway to the sources — The Art of War, A Discourse on Winning and Losing and Wardley Maps — where you will find additional actionable insights, concrete examples and thinking patterns based on hands-on experiences.

The art of strategy is to succeed — by securing harmony among stakeholders and keeping competition off balance — through evolving better capabilities to adapt and map.

The Chapters so far

Chapter 1 — Assessments
Chapter 2 — Challenges
Chapter 3 — Success
Chapter 4 — Setup
Chapter 5 — Momentum
Chapter 6 — Deployment
Chapter 7 — Engagement
Chapter 8 — Adaptations
Chapter 9 — Movements
Chapter 10 — Landscape
Annex — Wardley Mapping Examples

This is provided as Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International by the author, Erik Schön.