GaryGagliardi's blog

How Politicians Leverage People's Naive Viewpoints

How do we elect such poor decision-makers to office? As anyone who studies our warrior's rules at this site knows, politicians are our most fertile source of examples of defective strategy. This fact raises the question: how do these people get elected to office in the first place?

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Seven Rules for Republican Challengers

Recently I responded to a thank-you letter from a local candidate for Congress, James Watkins, running against an long-time Democratic incumbent, Jay Inslee, by offering some specific election advice. This advice applies to all challengers to political incumbents, especially in areas that are traditionally heavily Democratic, such as the Seattle are.

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A Question about President Obama's Political Position

A reader writes:

Gary - How would you analyse President Obama's current position in terms of Sun Tzu's classic five-point framework. Thank you.

Mission: Unclear and growing less so in every area.

Climate: Man-made global cooling.

Ground: Shrinking quickly as support melts in the middle and on the left.

Command: Blame game instead of decision making.

Methods: Both untrained and undisciplined.

Obama and the Wisdom of Crowds

A reader writes:

You have mentioned "the wisdom of the crowd" as the underlying mechanism for why group decisions and democracies normally work better. Aggregate decisions that are freely made give better outcomes to more people. How was this the case in Obama's election? At the time, and even now, I was and still am unable to see how electing Obama was a benefit for the majority of Americans.

Can you shed light on this?

Prospect Theory: A Logical Basis for "Illogical" Behavior

Prospect theory arises out research showing that people tend to take smaller risks in exploring opportunities and larger risk in defending against losses. Prospect theory says that people are risk adverse in pursuing opportunities while risk seeking in defending against losses. While researchers describe this behavior irrational, it does have a rational basis as a basic instinct for good strategy.

Newt Gingrich: Did he sink his chances at the Republican nomination?

Decisions that seem small at the time can have a big impact on stratetic position. One of the most fundamental principles of Sun Tzu's strategy is that we must adjust to changes in climate. We cannot fight the environment, we must adapt to it. Strategies that refuse to consider what is changing, are always doomed to fail.

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Obama's War on FOX News: Misunderstanding the Rules of Scale

Many strategic principles work only in specific relationships of size. What works fine for David's attacking Golliath fails completely when Goliath tries it against David. A small organization works against a larger rival differently than a large organization works against smaller rivals (3.4.2 Scale Limitations). One set of methods grows organizations, a very different set keeps them on top. A whole set of classic errors come from a misunderstanding of scale.

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