Plansmith Blog

Strategy Lessons From a Chess Grandmaster

Posted by Tom Parsons on 12/20/17 3:12 PM
Tom Parsons

Garry Kasparov. You might only know him as a former world chess champion; perhaps the greatest of all time.

He is also a Russian pro-democracy leader, global human-rights activist, business speaker and author. His 2007 book, How Life Imitates Chessdiscusses the lessons he learned as world champion and how they apply to business life.

His views are still applicable today – maybe more relevant than ever. In an interview on MSNBC today (December 20, 2017) he said [his chess class] will teach you to look at strategy because the biggest advantage of democracy over dictatorship is strategy. He’s speaking, of course, about how America should address it’s concerns about Vladimir Putin.

He goes on: “If you play a short-term game, a tactical game, dictatorship will always win because he doesn’t care about free press, public opinion, parliamentary investigation.”

But strategy takes statesmen – not politicians concerned short term about reelection.

"Strategic plans will bring fruits when those who started it are no longer in office."

It’s a fascinating interview. Click and watch the full 8 minutes - it's worth it.

That last quote seems appropriate as we transition from planning to execution in 2018. As business leaders, how many years do we repeat short-term activities before we realize they don’t take us to our vision?

At Plansmith, we still believe in the power of planning to impact the longterm. You’ve heard a lot about strategic planning from us in 2017. As 2018 turns over, we will continue executing our long-term strategic plan. I plan to reread Kasparov’s book. Look for a book review later this, er, next year.

In the meantime, happy planning, have a safe holiday season, and Happy New Year.

Topics: bank strategy, strategic planning

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