Chapter 4

Aug 16, 2016 · 33 min read

Learning doctrine

Doctrine are the basic universal principles that are applicable to all industries regardless of the landscape and its context. This doesn’t mean that the doctrine is right but instead that it appears to be consistently useful for the time being. There will always exist better doctrine in the future. As with climatic patterns we will go through some basic forms and refine in future passes through the strategy cycle.

Categorising Doctrine

Doctrine are universal and applicable to all landscapes though many require you to use a map in order to fully exploit them. It’s worth making a distinction here (courtesy of Trent Hone). Whilst doctrine consists of basic principles, the application of those principles will be different in different contexts. For example, “Focus on user needs” does not mean we all focus on the same user needs but instead the exact user needs will vary with landscape and purpose. The user needs of an automative company are not the same as a tea shop. Equally, the user needs of “the best tea shop in Kent” are not the same as the user needs of “the most convenient tea shop in Kent”. Hence, doctrine can be subdivided into the principles of doctrine (i.e. “focus on user needs”) and the implementation of doctrine (i.e. “the user needs for the most convenient tea shop in Kent”)

Using doctrine with our first map

When you read the list of doctrine, it mainly sounds like common sense. Most of them are but then again, they’re very difficult to achieve. You really have to work hard at them. In the case of “remove duplication and bias” then you can’t effectively apply it to your first map because it requires multiple maps. However, even with a simple map, you can apply some of these doctrines. In figure 45 I’ve taken our first map which we applied common economic patterns to figure 28 (Chapter 3) and shown where doctrine is relevant.

An exercise for the reader

In chapter 3 I asked you to apply some basic economic patterns to a map you created in chapter 2. If you’ve been skipping these exercises then now is the time to go back and complete them. Mapping isn’t something you can just read and become an expert in , it’s something you have to apply and learn.

The book so far

Chapter 1 — On being lost
Chapter 2 — Finding a path
Chapter 3 — Exploring the map
Chapter 4 — Doctrine
Chapter 5 — The play and a decision to act
Chapter 6 — Getting started yourself
Chapter 7 — Finding a new purpose
Chapter 8 — Keeping the wolves at bay
Chapter 9 — Charting the future
Chapter 10 — I wasn’t expecting that!
Chapter 11 — A smorgasbord of the slightly useful
Chapter 12 — The scenario
Chapter 13 — Something wicked this way comes
Chapter 14 — To thine own self be true
Chapter 15 — On the practice of scenario planning
Chapter 16 — Super Looper
Chapter 17 — To infinity and beyond
Chapter 18 — Better for Less


The use of topographical intelligence in business strategy


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The use of topographical intelligence in business strategy