I paraphrase the great Emmanuel Lasker, philosopher, mathematician, and world chess champ from 1894 to 1920.
I encourage you all to play chess. It’s fun, engrossing and wonderful for the mind. Chess’s wildly romantic history and mythology is an added bonus.
(Nowadays you can download grandmaster level chess programs on to your Pad!)
One of the great charms of chess is its binary nature.
You win or lose based on
- The strength of your ideas, and
- Your skill & courage in implementing them
Is Lasker's maxim true in business?
In small business, I'd say Yes.
Our success or failure depends on the depth of our strategic understanding, and the energy & intelligence with which we execute.
(Luck plays a part too, of course, as always & everywhere.)
How about BIG business?
Based on my experience, I'd say Yes - with important reservations.
Monopoly, oligopoly, and market rigging (e.g. to keep competition out) are all too common.
(The countermeasure is intelligent regulation in accord with the "Less is More" principle)
Another exception is large companies suffering from Big Company Disease, the villain in my last book, The Remedy.
Perhaps the greatest power of the Toyota management system (aka "Lean") is its ability to make problems visible.
Lasker might add, "thereby, we expose lies & hypocrisy."
Good Lean companies are thus, a meritocracy. The best & brightest prosper, and bozos are exposed.
Play chess, have fun, kick butt and take names.