Instant Strategic Insights: Positioning the Institute

As you know, we have been working at how to position the type of strategy we teach. In a series of articles, we have been comparing it with other forms of business strategy and other forms of sales training, since we most commonly get called in to do sales training.

Up until now, we have identified a number of distinct differences.  We teach an individual skill, not a planning or management process.  Our strategy works in areas which are outside of the boundaries of normal planning, areas where information is incomplete. Our strategy is aimed at making better decisions and identifying hidden opportunities. It works to help people make better decisions every day, not just in choosing their goals.

These ideas are beginning to come together around the idea of Rapid Competitive Cognition (RCC). Rapid competitive cognition is the psychologists way of describing the skill of quickly recognizing what must be done in complex competitive situations. The concept of "rapid cognition" comes from a number of areas of recent psychological

research. This research, much of it compiled in the book Blink by Malcolm Gadwell, demonstrates how skilled individuals can make correct snap judgments in complex situations. These judgments are made so automatically that the experts themselves cannot always explain their basis. The right idea seems to pop into their heads.


ne of the first places that this ability was recognized was on the battlefield where it emerged as rapid competitive cognition. Great generals can look at a chaotic battlefield and quickly identify what must be done. In French, competitive cognition was called "coup d'oeil," the "power of the glance," This is what they called Napoleon's ability to discern exactly what must be done during battle.

The good news is that this form of rapid competitive cognition this skill can be taught. How do we know this? Because Napoleon himself learned it. He learned it from a book called Sun Tzu's The Art of War.

The even better news is that this skill doesn't only work on the battlefield. It works in any competitive situation where people must make decisions under challenging circumstances.  How do we know? Because we have help people all over the world master it.

We, of course, call it simply the Warrior's Rule Book. However, in the future, we are going to refer to it more and more as Rapid Competitive Cognition and Instant Strategic Insight because these ideas describe the value of what we offer more precisely.

The people on the Council, especially Allan Elder, is doing a lot of work putting the ideas developed in 9 Formulas in presentation form. Each module will differentiate what the Science of Strategy Institute sells from what is taught by other sales/strategy training programs. For example, the Find Friends Formula is a very different way of classifying people that the sales training view which breaks people into categories such as economic buyers, influences, gatekeepers, and do one. However, these modules are different from a reason: they teach a different perspective on seeing competitive problems. It is that perspective, not more complicated processes, that people need to make better decisions.

Though we will be offering a number of separate modules, the lesson in each will feed a central skill. The skill of seeing what is important in a competitive situation at a glance! This instant strategic insight simplifies complex situations making their core elements visible. It makes it possible to express these insights in terms that others can appreciate. this is the strategy of dealing with competitive chaos. It is the building of automatic creative responses.  The idea is to develop people who competitively innovative when the situation demands it.

I have always called this ability the “warrior’s mind” but perhaps I should call it the “general’s eye.”

All our modules will be described in terms of how they help people develop this unique, powerful ability. Find Friends is about getting the deeper perspective into a situation on which this vision is based. Yes, there are economic buyers, gatekeepers, etc, but what is important to create strategic insight in the overall picture. You can only get that picture by asking a different set of questions from a different set of people.

This skill is also very different from what other people are selling.  In the following two articles, you should get the sense of how different. This skill is especially valuable to salespeople but business managers and owners need it too. A little training in this skill is instantly beneficial, but it is a deep skill that requires time and practice to master.

Competitive Arenas: