Introduction: What is strategy and why do you need it?

What is strategy? Why do you need it? How do you do it? And, how can you be more certain to succeed? The Art of Strategy provides timeless answers to these eternal questions. It is a modern reading of Sun Tzu’s Art of War using the lenses of strategists John Boyd and Simon Wardley (swardley).

和 (Hé) Harmony. Erik Schön (CC BY-SA 4.0)

The Art of Strategy is a short introduction to strategy through the insights of three successful strategists: Sun Tzu (c. 551–496 BC), John Boyd (1927–1997) and Simon Wardley (swardley).

It is a modern reading of Sun Tzu’s Art of War — the strategy classic written…


It’s All About the Journey

Photo: Erik Schön. LEGO® is a trademark of the LEGO Group, which does not sponsor, authorize or endorse this article

The 2nd edition is 15% shorter and includes more of the challenges and struggles based on feedback from Alistair Cockburn. It was originally published in Cutter Business Technology Journal, Vol. 32, №5, 2019 on “Cutting-Edge Agile” with Alistair Cockburn as Guest Editor.

Come along with me through the experiences and insights from the ups and downs of an Agile journey in a 2,000+-person product development unit in 10 locations in Sweden, Poland, and China, resulting in
a quadrupling of value throughput; a doubling of speed; a tenfold increase in quality; and happier, more engaged people who are, ultimately, more innovative.


A Modern Reading of Lao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching: Sections 74–81

Photo: Debby Hudson/Unsplash

What is the meaning of life? Why is this important? How do you live your life to make it more meaningful? The Art of Living provides timeless answers to these eternal questions including new perspectives on the world, people and their behaviours; practical tools for avoiding and handling conflicts, and, actionable advice on how to lead effectively and make a difference. “This is powerful, this is for practical people struggling with business goals, lacking time with family … feeling stressed.” (All parts)

74. Fearing Death

Lao Tzu

If people are unafraid of death, how can you threaten them with death? If people with normal fear…


A Modern Reading of Lao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching: Sections 67–73

Photo: Farzane Saremi/Unsplash

What is the meaning of life? Why is this important? How do you live your life to make it more meaningful? The Art of Living provides timeless answers to these eternal questions including new perspectives on the world, people and their behaviours; practical tools for avoiding and handling conflicts, and, actionable advice on how to lead effectively and make a difference “This is powerful, this is for practical people struggling with business goals, lacking time with family … feeling stressed.” (All parts)

67. Compassion, Frugality, Modesty

Lao Tzu

Everyone calls ultimate purpose
great, and unlike anything else.

It is great only because it is unlike anything…


A Modern Reading of Lao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching: Sections 62–66

Photo: zulianię_/Unsplash

What is the meaning of life? Why is this important? How do you live your life to make it more meaningful? The Art of Living provides timeless answers to these eternal questions including new perspectives on the world, people, and their behaviours; practical tools for avoiding and handling conflicts, and, actionable advice on how to lead effectively and make a difference. “This is powerful, this is for practical people struggling with business goals, lacking time with family … feeling stressed.” (All parts)

62. True Reward, True Giving

Lao Tzu

Ultimate purpose is the center of everything:
prized by the able;
sheltering the lost.

Beautiful words can be…


A Modern Reading of Lao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching: Sections 56–61

Photo: Chris Lawton/Unsplash

What is the meaning of life? Why is this important? How do you live your life to make it more meaningful? The Art of Living provides timeless answers to these eternal questions including new perspectives on the world, people and their behaviours; practical tools for avoiding and handling conflicts, and, actionable advice on how to lead effectively and make a difference. “This is powerful, this is for practical people struggling with business goals, lacking time with family … feeling stressed.” (All parts)

56. The Original Unity

Lao Tzu

Those who know
avoid talking.
Those who talk
are unaware.

Block the passage, bolt the gate, blunt the…


A Modern Reading of Lao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching: Sections 50–55

Photo: J Gowell/Unsplash

What is the meaning of life? Why is this important? How do you live your life to make it more meaningful? The Art of Living provides timeless answers to these eternal questions including new perspectives on the world, people and their behaviours; practical tools for avoiding and handling conflicts, and, actionable advice on how to lead effectively and make a difference. “This is powerful, this is for practical people struggling with business goals, lacking time with family … feeling stressed.” (All parts)

50. Truly Set on Living

Lao Tzu

In the cycle of life and death: companions of life are one third, companions of death are one…


A Modern Reading of Lao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching: Sections 44–49

Photo: Henley Design Studio/Unsplash

What is the meaning of life? Why is this important? How do you live your life to make it more meaningful? The Art of Living provides timeless answers to these eternal questions including new perspectives on the world, people and their behaviours; practical tools for avoiding and handling conflicts, and, actionable advice on how to lead effectively and make a difference. “This is powerful, this is for practical people struggling with business goals, lacking time with family … feeling stressed.” (All parts)

44. Knowing What is Enough

Lao Tzu

Reputation or person: which is dearer?
Person or possessions: which means more?
Gain or loss: which hurts more?


A Modern Reading of Lao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching: Sections 38–43

Photo: Austin Distel/Unsplash

What is the meaning of life? Why is this important? How do you live your life to make it more meaningful? The Art of Living provides timeless answers to these eternal questions including new perspectives on the world, people and their behaviours; practical tools for avoiding and handling conflicts, and, actionable advice on how to lead effectively and make a difference. “This is powerful, this is for practical people struggling with business goals, lacking time with family … feeling stressed.” (All parts)

38. Effectiveness

Lao Tzu

The most excellent avoid striving to excel
and so reach the highest effectiveness. …


A Modern Reading of Lao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching: Sections 31–37

Photo: Dingzeyu Li/Unsplash

What is the meaning of life? Why is this important? How do you live your life to make it more meaningful? The Art of Living provides timeless answers to these eternal questions including new perspectives on the world, people and their behaviours; practical tools for avoiding and handling conflicts, and, actionable advice on how to lead effectively and make a difference. “This is powerful, this is for practical people struggling with business goals, lacking time with family … feeling stressed.” (All parts)

31. A Great Victory is a Funeral

Lao Tzu

Weapons are ill-omened tools,
they are hated.
Therefore, avoid them.

At home, honour the left. …

Erik Schön

Executive and strategist who has successfully developed and deployed strategy for over 20 years in small, medium and large organizations.

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