Wardley Maps

This is the story of Simon Wardley. Follow his journey from bumbling and confused CEO lost in the headlights of change to someone with a vague idea of what they’re doing.

A Free Book On Business Strategy

You enter an elevator. A senior executive hands you a short document and asks, “Does this strategy makes sense?” Truthfully, you don’t have a clue. You don’t know what a real strategy is, let alone how to evaluate the one in this document.

“Seems fine,” you respond.

Fast forward a decade. You are now the CEO, and the stakes are very real. You’ve written a strategy and ask one of your reports what they think of it.

“Seems fine,” they say. Your heart sinks.

Somewhere along your journey into leadership, you must have missed the secret lessons to evaluating strategy. Someone is sure to rumble that you’re faking it! You are drowning in uncertainty and an easy mark for consultants peddling snake oil…

Inspired by Chapter 1 of Simon’s book.

About the author.

Simon Wardley is a former CEO, the inventor of Wardley Mapping, and a researcher with the Leading Edge Forum. He has shared his topographical approach to business strategy freely with the world, under a Creative Commons Share-Alike license.

You can usually find Simon’s excellent ranting and raving on Twitter and his personal blog.

“I like ducks, they’re fowl but not through choice.”

Chapter 1: On Being Lost

This is the story of my journey, from a bumbling and confused CEO lost in the headlights of change to having a vague idea of what I was doing. I say vague because I’m not going to make grand claims to the techniques that I discuss in this book. It is enough to say that I have found them useful over the last decade whether in finding opportunity, removing waste, helping to organise a team of people or determining the strategy for a company. Will they help you? That depends upon the context that you’re operating in but since the techniques don’t take long to learn then I’ll leave it up to the reader to discover whether they are helpful to them or not. Remember, all models are wrong but some are useful.


There are currently 19 chapters in Simon’s book, each of which you can read for free on Medium, below:

    1. On Being Lost (28m read)
    2. Finding a Path (24m read)
    3. Exploring the Map (23m read)
    4. Doctrine (33m read)
    5. The Play and a Decision to Act (35m read)
    6. Getting Started Yourself (20m read)
    7. Finding a New Purpose (39m read)
    8. Keeping the Wolves at Bay (26m read)
    9. Charting the Future (33m read)
    10. I Wasn’t Expecting That! (41m read)
    11. A Smorgasbord of the Slightly Useful (72m read)
    12. The Scenario (14m read)
    13. Something Wicked This Way Comes (19m read)
    14. To Thine Own Self Be True (12m read)
    15. On the Practice of Scenario Planning (34m read)
    16. Super Looper (38m read)
    17. To Infinity and Beyond (24m read)
    18. Better for Less (37m read)
    19. On Playing Chess (27m read)