Stick around the workplace long enough and you will probably be told, or tell someone else, you need to be more strategic. This suggestion is rarely accompanied by an explanation of what is meant by strategy or being strategic. Turning to the literature on strategy for clarity will likely create more confusion. Most of the strategic literature is complex or esoteric and too characterized by vast disagreement to be helpful.
Let’s try demystifying strategy, for at least the length of this article, by relating it to the problems of Monopoly. By Monopoly I don’t mean the exclusive control of the supply or trade in a commodity or service. I mean that struggle between Dog, Shoe, and Battleship for control of the Atlantic City board game.
This puts me in “good” company. I cannot tell you how many of us there are, even we do not really know for sure. Suffice it to say, we are legion. And we command an incredible amount of attention from people like you.
You and your co-workers spend hours analyzing us…. you know you do. You marvel at how we got here and why we stick around. You have strategies to cope with us. Masses of experts write columns advising you how to interact with us. Heck, there is an entire industry of training classes on “Dealing with Difficult People” like me. I will bet you have taken one. Dealing with me is as pervasive a problem as dealing with a psychological malady. Type the phrase 'dealing with' into your search engine? What comes up?