To be honest I could probably make a compare and contrast list between business strategy and sex; but I decided against that. It seems like too obviously pandering to the SEO. Instead, I want to focus on just this one thing business strategy has in common with sex: both are on the short list of things almost everybody assumes they do well, and for which it takes bad news to prove them wrong.
We have to learn a lot of things. You take swimming lessons, and you learn math in school. Tennis, golf? Everybody takes lessons. But you’re good at strategy automatically; and, well, sorry to mention it, but also, sex. Or so we all believe.
I used to think it was strategy, driving, and sex. But in the last few years I’ve realized some people know they’re bad drivers. There’s progress.
I first realized this about 30 years ago when I was a vice president with Creative Strategies International. We sold market research easily, strategy with great difficulty. And that’s because, I came to believe, everybody feels great with strategy.
Having watched this phenomenon for several decades now, I do think there’s a kernel of truth in this business strategy phenomenon. Think of any successful strategy you know of … doesn’t it seem obvious, after the fact? The problem is that a good strategy does seem obvious; but only after it becomes visible. The hard part is to think it up before it’s obvious.