Situational awareness

I recently read an excellent piece which uses the analogy of chess to drive home the importance of situational awareness in achieving positive business outcomes.

As the piece argues, you can’t achieve repeated positive outcomes by simply analyzing what actions you and others have taken in the past and the consequences of these actions. This is the equivalent of following a series of chess moves and the outcome of the game without knowing what the chess board on which the game is being played looks like. Just like different chess moves produce different outcomes given the state of the chess board, the same actions produce different outcomes depending on the context in which you find yourself.

Instead, you need to develop an understanding for the context in which each action was taken. In other words, you need to know what the chess board looks like at a given moment in the game. If you understand the context, you can not only explain why some actions will produce better outcomes than others but also potentially come up with new actions that may have not been taken in the past which could produce even better outcomes.

You can read the full piece here.

Also published on Medium.