The “strategic game,” as Boyd called it. It can be played on three levels — physical, mental, and moral — but victory at the moral level level usually trumps the other two. There are few exceptions in war and practically none in business and politics.
Picture this: You’re a grossly overweight state governor. Fiscal times are the worst since the Great Depression. Plus you’ve just given $800 million away to your richest constitutents. How, then, do you take on a much larger group of citizens making an average of less than $70,000 per year?
As Boyd would advise, you need to lay out a strategy that focuses on the moral level of conflict, that is, you want to get the majority of consitituents to identify with you and your cause not because you’re a brilliant orator and can win them over by logic (although that can work, too), but simply because they identify with you and feel you’re cause is right.
Boyd lays this out in Strategic Game, charts 46-57 and particularly charts 47-49 and 56.
With all that in mind, read “How Chris Christie Did His Homework.” By the way, I’m not in the least interested in who’s “right” or “wrong” in this case but in who played the moral card the smartest (or, to put it another way, how the largest and most powerful union in New Jersey made every mistake in the book.)
There are strong lessons in this for business because business has a large moral component.
[All of Boyd’s materials are available at http://dnipogo.org/john-r-boyd/]