More people ought to learn strategy

I’m going to betray my optimism here.

You see, I believe that strategy is a skill that you cannot unlearn. Once you know some basics, you become someone who wants to be purposeful… who wants to design things deliberately… who cares.

Here’s the story I tell myself: “The more people there are who care, who put purposeful designs into the world, the better the world can be.”

Put another way, I think that many of the problems we see in the world are the result of an unintentional, thoughtless, reactive posture (one that is highly exploitable by exceptional bad actors).

So that’s my optimism at work. I think that to bring about more good in the world, we should encourage more people to learn strategy.

Wardley Mapping democratizes strategy

The purpose of is to make Wardley Mapping more accessible.

But why bother with Wardley Mapping? Well, I believe it has the potential to democratize strategy and contribute to the good consequences of learning strategy I mentioned above.

Wardley Mapping is free to learn, and it very easily outperforms the status quo decision-making methods we so frequently encounter in our workplaces (for example, the gut feelings of the oft-encountered HiPPO).

Fun Fact: “HiPPO” stands for “Highest Paid Person’s Opinion”

However, “free” doesn’t mean “easy,” and Wardley Mapping can still pose quite a challenge to learn.

The first obstacle is the reading assignment. Simon Wardley graciously provided the whole method Creative Commons Attribution Share-alike in blog/book form, but not everyone enjoys learning through long-form writing.

The second obstacle is confusion about exactly how to do it… how to make Wardley Maps, how to use all the tables, and so on. The book has instructions, but they can be challenging to understand and follow.

The third obstacle is self-doubt. This one’s the worst, because a person can spend all the time reading and learning the mechanics of Wardley Mapping only to slam into the brick wall of “Am I doing this right?”

Overcome these obstacles, and you’ll be unstoppable.

So, by writing posts like this one, running the website, and offering training, I hope to help more people clear these hurdles so they can start making the world a better place.

We can do this together

Now that you know what I’m up to with this site, there’s no better time to confess to you why I’m doing such a bad job at it.

In short, content schedules suck.

I have studied and tried so many different ways to make content creation a breeze, and while they all work just fine, unfortunately I can will myself to do exactly zero of them on a schedule. In fact, it’s a miracle that I’m hitting publish on this post.

So… in a rare feat of self-acceptance, I’m giving up.

No more schedules. No more forcing myself to make Wardley Mapping stuff for the sake of making it.

Instead, I’m going to ask for your help.

You see, people are the opposite of content schedules. People are amazingly motivating. I can care about people. I can’t give a shovel’s worth of muck about content schedules. But people are cool. You are cool.

So, I’d like to try something, with your help.

What if we ran this thing like an advice column?

We’ve had luck with that format in the past, and I’d like to see if it’s worth doing again.

So, I invite you to send in your questions, challenges, grumbles, ideas… anything that’s on your mind about Wardley Mapping or strategy in general. And in return, I’ll share your questions here and do my best to offer ideas and advice. Who knows, maybe I’ll even make a video or two!

Want to give it a try? Send me your questions here!


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