There’s no such thing as a perfect strategy

Lëtzebuergesch: De Garri Kasparow géint de Com...

Lëtzebuergesch: De Garri Kasparow géint de Computerprogramm Deep Junior am Januar 2003. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Doing what everyone else is doing is the wrong strategy, and thinking that what made you succeed in the first place will result in success again is a flawed thinking. This is strategy 101, but many don’t heed this principle.

This is a lesson famed Chess Grandmaster Gary Kasparov knows all to well. From an HBR interview on what business leaders can learn from him:

What can people in business learn from the best chess players?

In chess, soccer, baseball, business, politics—God forbid, war—we make decisions. Some are good, some not so good. The way to improve is to look back and analyze them. Many people think that if something worked yesterday and is still working today, it will work tomorrow. That’s wrong, because people on the losing side will come up with a new strategy. I stayed on top for 20 years because I knew that even if you win, there are things to learn. There’s no such thing as a perfect game. Not resting on your laurels is a very important lesson.

Bottom line: No strategy is foolproof. You must constantly iterate and refine it.