I love to reach airport early. It helps me approach my travel without the last minute rush. More importantly it allows me to spend lot more time at the airport book store. Airport book stores are rather special because for some reason the new arrivals seem to hit the stands here before the city retail outlets. So here I was this morning at the Chennai airport, on my way to Ahmadabad to attend a conference. And I made my way to the bookstore with enough time to spare.
Many books caught my attention, but I kept coming back to this book , ‘Playing to Win’ by A.G. Lafley, and Roger L. Martin. The book is released by Harvard Business Review Press, and I found the blurb on the book very interesting. Obviously, this book has got on to my ‘must read’ list. You should soon be seeing a review on this in the blog’s Books and Me section. However this post is not about the book. It is about the thought that came to me sometime later, as I waited for my boarding announcement.
As a professor who teaches strategy, I find myself spending a lot of time discussing and thinking around what strategy ought to mean to a firm.A key question that came to my mind today was ‘For what should you strategize – for winning or for playing?’ Being a person with a philosophical bent I feel it should be the latter. Beyond the play of words – the choice between ‘Winning’ or ‘Playing’ changes the rules, the outlook, the prize, the field, the motivation and the spirit of the game. I know this thought is not going to leave the labyrinth of my mind any time soon, before it extracts the relevant attention and thoughts. As they mature I hope to share them with you and seek your inputs to refine them further.
In the meantime I thought I would put this question to you for your consideration: For what do YOU Strategize? For what SHOULD you strategize?