One tidbit to get you hooked: He joins John Boyd into a trio including Mahan and Clausewitz. At first, this may seem like strange bedfellows, but Boyd did cite Clausewitz often in Patterns of Conflict, second only to Sun Tzu.
I’m somewhat hampered in commenting on Venkatesh’s post because it’s difficult to know what “culture” means in Boyd’s scheme of things. Other than in phrases like “cultural heritage” and “respect our culture,” Boyd doesn’t use the term.
On the other hand, he did talk about qualities that organizations need in order to be successful. In addition to the four German words from Certain to Win plus Behendigkeit (agility) there’s IOHAI from chart 144 of Patterns of Conflict. And “common implicit orientation” / “common outlook” from Patterns and Organic Design.
These qualities don’t just come from anywhere. So one might argue that any demarcation between culture and strategy is somewhat arbitrary. In other words, the duty of a commander is not only to create brilliant strategies:
In the Clausewitz-Mahan-Boyd tradition, strategy is about human insight operating on chaotic shared mental models, seeking special, unfair advantages to exploit. The resources you have available, and the strengths and weaknesses of those resources (people and culture included), naturally get accommodated in this model. (Rao)
But also to create the platform that makes them possible.
Anyway, read the post and see what you think.