Monday, October 13, 2008

A Distinction With a Difference

My strategy post from yesterday has been well received at Future Blogger and it's companion site The Energy Roadmap, and I'm grateful for the opportunity to express myself to that particular audience. Submitting your work to other's editorial authority has been a writer's experience probably since the earliest Lascaux cave painting days however. Mostly this results in genuine improvement to the work, but there are those specialty applications when confusion is the unintended consequence.

Case in point, my above mentioned article An Energy Strategy; specifically, the minor-seeming edit in bold (Here's The Plan:) about midway through the piece.

It is a wide-spread misconception that "plan" is synonymous with "strategy". This is untrue, though planning is an important subset of strategic science. This is why serious students of strategy (like the US Army, among others) place their planning effort into their training command, and not their operations command(s). Plans are the mechanism whereby capabilities are examined and tested, your own as well as all potential enemies and allies. It is this aspect that accounts for the much derided Pentagon practice of maintaining war plans for Canada and Great Britain, for example. Plans are how you measure yourself and devise training methodology to improve your capabilities, both in opposition to and cooperation with others.

From that process, a strategy can be more realistically devised to better achieve the identified advancement of position.

In my article, the strategy is to increase US energy capabilities by means of existing resources. The planning provided by Hyperion, along with the US government's recent response to the "credit crisis" and the intelligence (in the military sense of the word) obtained via on-line data search, provided the means and the mechanism to (possibly) achieve the stated advancement of the US's present domestic energy supply position. To complete the strategy formula, it also addressed the methodology whereby any advancement could be safeguarded from attack and an amicable dissolution of the operational alliances (principally between Hyperion and the US government, but there are several other possibilities as well) after the action was complete, thereby retaining any gains achieved.

Understanding strategy isn't essential to life, but all successful people and organisations have a good grasp on the principles involved whether they know it or not.


Alvis Brigis said...

Hey Will,

As Future Blogger editor, I inserted the "Here's the Plan" chunk to help mark the transition point in the piece where you went into listing strategy. I now note the distinction between plan and strategy (very good point) and have adjusted accordingly. The edit should show up in a few moments.

Please let me know directly if you object to any even miniscule edits. My goal is to make the material as relatable as possible at a quick glance, but don't want to alter any of the meaning. Apologies for any error in translation.

Dig your memes!


Will Brown said...

Thanks Alvis. I think I'll let Garry continue to share the blame anyway. :)

For future consideration, if a textual transitional device seems appropriate, perhaps a simple "Here's How:" or something equally value neutral would work better than essentially repeating the title.

You're the pro at this, but that's my too scents. Your present edit is fine, btw, so let's not play edit key tag over this. I got to ride my hobby horse a little further out of it after all. :)