The true cost of a 'win-at-all-costs' approach

Strategy falls apart not because of a lack of planning, but because we ignore what else is going on deeper in the organisation.

Although the concept of strategy and strategy design comes from the science of warfare - good strategy is seldom as a result of an approach that requires a solution that is premised on the idea of 'win-at-all-costs'.

Even the most aggressive business leaders know that the long-term implications of, for example, insisting that your staff work so hard that they suffer burnout and ultimately resign from the company in an attempt to outwork the competition; is one which is short-sighted and will cost the company more than any near-term benefits that it may produce.

As the Greek philosopher Homer illustrated; our focus on winning through strengths can very quickly turn into our greatest weakness.

Our fixation on success and an over-reliance on what we perceive to be as our advantage, or what we think success looks like, can come back to bite us later on.

When we ignore the bigger picture of what is going on deeper in the organisation and simply obsess over winning, we engineer ourselves to be less open to learning and less resilient to unexpected change outside the narrow confines of our focus.

It's better then to build-with-an-awareness-of-cost and to carefully time when action and full focus is required for maximum impact and when rest and reflection is beneficial in your strategy.

The timing and rollout of action in a strategy is key.

Even in warfare, these days, there is not such thing as a win-at-all-costs mindset, so it should have no place outside of the battle field either.