Author Ravish Patwardhan Discusses Aspects of Strategy
Ravish Patwardhan considers the rather broad concept of strategy. At first questionable as to why such as broad topic should be considered, Patwardhan justifies the topic by consideration of specific examples. For example, an understanding of strategy in a business setting may have some similarities with strategy in a setting of special forces. Lessons of strategy may be learned from as diverse sources as ants and bees, who function strategically in colonies where delegation and division of labor is more efficient that sole performance. In other, more developed circumstances, there may be advantage for a “sole person knowledgeable of how the entire process works,” so that s/he can better coordinate the process amongst others. Strategy is a time-honored concept, with Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War” being considered.
As Ravish Patwardhan notes, the topic of strategy has implications from a business standpoint. Academically, Michael Porter, a Harvard professor (www.harvard.edu), has written about several points of strategy construct as applicable to successful business practice. This, when further considered with the remotely related field of mathematics, leads to the development of game theory (popularized recently by the movie “A beautiful mind” which followed the theory espoused by John Nash leading to him being awarded a Nobel Prize by the Swedish Academy (www.nobelprize.org).
Patwardhan further considers “strategy” in diverse, everyday topics, to be equally if not more relevant at times. Most of us employ strategy in ordering tasks, asking for favors or compensation, or sorting through difficult conflicts.
Negotiation, Patwardhan considers, is a great example of strategy – a key concept is the “best alternative to no agreement” or BATNA for the conflicted party. A key strategy would involve making a decision while understanding this position, for appropriate resolution. Another oft-quoted term, as Patwardhan notes, is “investment strategy” – the guidelines that support investment in one vs. another choice. While considering risk-benefit ratio in portfolio analysis, for example, strategy involves in many times counter-strategizing to the “imperfect market.” Hedge funds, mutual funds, and asset managers, to name a few, all rely heavily on a strategy (sometimes, as Warren Buffet has claimed, involving being “fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful”) has proven true in circumstances.