Good strategy is elusive. Some people can read The Art of War every day and never generate a single good strategy, while others can outthink Sun Tzu without ever opening a book. Reading can help, and so can training, but the effect is limited when an exploitable mindset prevails. Americans, for example, tend to emphasize technology and forget that every gadget comes with at least one new liability, usually several.
What we really need is a common base of flexible but structured thinking techniques—techniques that help us focus and collaborate while strengthening our ability to outthink, not just “out-tech,” our opponents. To date, a variety of authors have attempted to collect and share such techniques, but no single source has captured a critical mass of techniques or presented them in a way that makes them immediately useful.