The Art of Strategy: Intelligence
What is strategy? Why do you need it? How do you do it? And, how can you be more certain to succeed? The Art of Strategy provides timeless answers to these eternal questions. It is a modern reading of Sun Tzu’s Art of War using the lenses of strategists John Boyd and Simon Wardley (swardley). (All parts; other reading and viewing formats).
Engagements and entering new areas drain the organization severely — psychologically, socially, and financially:
existing and new areas in turmoil;
people on the move, exhausted;
stakeholders unable to cope.
Engagements lasting several years could be decided in a single day.
And yet, there are miserly people unwilling to fund intelligence operations.
This is a complete lack of compassion;
this is a lack of leadership;
this is obstructing stakeholders,
this is the path to failure.
Skilled leadership move towards success and achievements
more valuable than all others
thanks to foreknowledge of competition’s intentions and actions.
Foreknowledge is beyond rumors and stories,
beyond analogy with past events,
beyond assessments only.
It is obtained from people who know the competition’s set up first hand.
There are five types of intelligence: local, inside, double, live, and expendable.
Local intelligence from competitors’ people.
Inside intelligence from competitors’ leadership.
Double intelligence from competitors’ intelligence operations.
Live intelligence from people who return with first hand reports.
Expendable intelligence is spreading misinformation.
Use all five in secrecy to gather information like catching fish in a net by pulling a single cord. This is invaluable for stakeholders.
For the organization, intelligence operations is
the most closely held,
the most generously rewarded,
the most secretly treated.
Intelligence operations need wisdom and compassion.
Intelligence operations need subtlety and sensitivity to find the truth.
Subtle beyond subtleties, intelligence operations can be used everywhere.
If confidential information leaks, people who know are to be removed from the operation.
The more extreme the action, the higher the needs for detailed foreknowledge.
Seek it from people inside competition’s intelligence operations:
pay, turn and employ them for double intelligence.
From double intelligence:
we find local and inside intelligence;
we know how and when to use live intelligence;
we learn how to use expendable intelligence.
Skilled leadership rely on all five types of intelligence operations;
and, this knowledge all comes from double intelligence.
Therefore, treat those who provide it with utmost generosity.
There are many examples of organizations using double intelligence to succeed.
Only skilled leadership with skilled people in intelligence operations are certain to succeed.
Intelligence operations are essential for strategy;
the organization trusts them for every move.
Napoleon: Evolve plan with appropriate variations each of which correspond to probable or possible actions. Employ Intelligence/recce units (spies, agents, cavalry, etc.) in predetermined directions to eliminate or confirm hypotheses concerning enemy actions thereby reduce uncertainty and simplify own plans as well as uncover adversary plans and intentions. …
Generate misinformation, devise stratagems, and alter composition of major formations to confuse and baffle enemy agents, spies, etc.Employ screens of cavalry, infantry, or both and make rise of natural features such as terrain, weather, and darkness to mask dispositions and cloak movements against enemy observation
Blitzkrieg: Intelligence (signal, photo, agent . . . ), reconnaissance (air and ground), and patrol actions probe and test adversary before and during combat operations to uncover as well as shape changing patterns of strengths, weaknesses, moves, and intentions.
Modern Guerrilla Campaign: Exploit subversion of government and conversion of people to guerrilla cause to create an alien atmosphere of security and intelligence in order to “blind” regime to guerrilla plans, operations, and organization yet make “visible” regime’s strengths, weaknesses, moves, and intentions.
Counterguerrilla Campaign: Infiltrate guerrilla movement as wellas employ population for intelligence about guerrilla plans, operations, and organization.
Observe, orient, decide, and act more inconspicuously, more quickly, and with more irregularity . . .
or put another way
Operate inside adversary’s observation — orientation — decision — action loops or get inside his mind-time-space . . . permits one to probe and test adversary, and any allies that may rally to his side, in order to unmask strengths, weaknesses, maneuvers, and intentions.
I cannot emphasize [more] the importance of situational awareness before using … these plays.
The Art of Strategy: All Parts
- Assessments: How to assess, prepare and shape
- Challenges: How to use and reduce inertia, entropy and friction
- Success: How to succeed together with stakeholders
- Setup: How to create resilience
- Momentum: How to use creativity focus and timing
- Shaping: How to shape and avoid being shaped
- Engagement: How to engage using surprise
- Adaptations: How to adapt to shifting situations
- Movements: How to move to optimize momentum
- Landscape: How to approach difficult areas
- Situations: How to handle difficult situations
- Disruption: How to disrupt and avoid being disrupted
- Intelligence: How to use intelligence to create foreknowledge