(Strategic) thinking is hard to do

I’m taking a break from economics by readingĀ [amazon_link id=”0099551861″ target=”_blank” ]Revolutionaries: Inventing an American Nation[/amazon_link] by Jack Rakove, a history of the American revolution told through the debates among its leaders. The gaps in my knowledge on this subject are large, and it’s a beautifully written book, so I’m enjoying it. It has made me realise, once again, how few people think strategically at all – that is, think about how their interlocutor is going to react in his (or her) next move – never mind what their end-game might be. The American victory over Britain could almost be summed up as the result of having a few more strategists.

[amazon_image id=”0099551861″ link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”medium” ]Revolutionaries: Inventing an American Nation[/amazon_image]

This is just as true in modern life. The best business book on strategy is, at least in my reading, Nalebuff and Dixit, [amazon_link id=”0393310353″ target=”_blank” ]Thinking Strategically[/amazon_link]. It uses game theory but isn’t all that difficult. Still, just as Daniel Kahneman points out in [amazon_link id=”0141033576″ target=”_blank” ]Thinking, Fast and Slow[/amazon_link], how hard it is to calculate anything, I’m sure it must also be hard to strategise.

[amazon_image id=”0393310353″ link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”medium” ]Thinking Strategically: Competitive Edge in Business, Politics and Everyday Life[/amazon_image]

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