THEORY - Maneuver Concepts
02.11.00 Boyd’s theme for strategy.

Q. What is the Central Theme and What Are the Key Ideas that Underlie Strategy?

A. The central theme is one of interacting/isolation while the key ideas are the moral-mental-physical means toward realizing this interaction/isolation.

INTERPRETATION. Most sales and marketing organizations function in isolation... not the kind of isolation imposed upon them by savvy competitors but the kind of isolation resulting from self-imposed limitations. Rear-view mirror managing combined with risk aversion and focus on stability and predictability have resulted in sensory deprivation chambers for most American enterprises. Within the sales and marketing organization this sensory deprivation generates panic and confusion when ever the results of an initiative are outside the box.

What happens when an advertising campaign fails to increase sales? You advertise more.

What happens when price erosion starts eroding profitability? You cut your price.

What happens when you lose a key account to a better positioned competitor? You fire the team servicing the account.

What happens when measures like this fail to boost the bottom line? You fire more employees and reduce more expenses.

And when this doesn’t work? You fire the management team responsible for getting you in this position to begin with.

And at the end of the day what are you left with?

A panic stricken, demoralized enterprise faced with bankruptcy or capitulation via merger.

The critical theme is that most American enterprises whether they realize it or recognize it have been “SHAPED” by Boydian forces. It’s only through understanding these forces and then developing structures that allow you to better interact within your frame of reference while influencing, shaping and isolating your adversaries frame of reference that true industry leadership will result.