When we think about where we can implement strategies, the first two things that come to mind are Chess and Business. There are plenty of things that either can learn from the other. Here, I have focused on the insights that businesses can use from Chess. The article is based on my own insights and interview of Garry Kasparov with Harvard Business Review.
Like Chess, in businesses, each of us is given the same 24 hour window. Thus, to maximize the output, we need to find ways to increase productivity and gain maximum advantage in shortest possible time.
If the goal is to reach from Point A to B, the objective should be to find the most direct route that helps you avoid diversions as well as detours.
“If your company doubles the output every six weeks, how to reduce it to five or if it takes four sales meetings to convert a client- how can it be done in three?”
In Chess, people who take the first move wins around 55% of the time. Likewise, in businesses, there is a tempo advantage that you can gain if you are the first mover.
If the goal is to gain the tempo over competitors, try to find the blue ocean (untouched territory) in business and build proper strategy to gain the maximum advantage of the same.
Like Chess, in businesses, you can’t underestimate the opponent. Always keep in mind that your opponent can see through your strategy. Thus, to win, what businesses need to do is to plan ahead considering themselves totally exposed to the competitors. But eventually, you should reach your goal while creating a confusion in the market over the counter attacks.
Like Chess, competitors can smell fear or confusion when you take longer pauses to make a move. Every stutter, every pause and every delay are noted and analyzed by your competitors and if they are able to sense these, they will establish an attack with twice the force.
Never reveal to your competitor when you’re passing through a rough patch. Even in the times of fear, try to create an illusion of attack to stop the competitors from entering your territory.
In Chess, there are two types of people (as per Kasparov). One are those who understand each and every detail. They are good at operations and they will try to maximize the capabilities of each resource available. The other type is those players who look at the Bigger picture.
Similarly, in Business, when you are on the driving seat, always have a view at the bigger picture before devoting yourself to the minute details of operations.
Like Chess, in businesses, intuition plays a major role. Many grandmasters have mentioned this that in the toughest times of their battles when their backs were against the wall, they trust nothing else but their intuition.
In businesses, at times, you need to turn to intuitions to get the most innovative moves. And that is the thing which will help you get your purple patch.
Like Chess, in business, you can’t take your move back. Once you have made a blunder, you have to be ready for its horrible consequences. So better think twice before taking a move.
Chess is a violent sport. And so is the business. So, start your offense only when you are well-equipped with the defense.
Thank you for reading. I appreciate if you can share your reviews on the topic.
-Arjuna@War (Parth Shah)