Unstrategy as Strategy

My friend Simon Ensor wrote a post about strategy the other day.

I have been thinking about strategy.

I have been thinking about strategies that I have developed in the past.

They were beautifully mapped.

They were arduously documented.

They gained seeming adherence from others who bought into the dream.

They saw promises of treasure…

They saw hope of easy gold.

The prospective crew, the imaginary crew should I say, all had their hammocks ready on board.

They proved to be a phantom crew…

I used to  think about strategy.

I am starting to think in terms of unstrategy.


That got me to thinking about unstrategy and what Ivan Illich might have called “de-strategy”.  What the hell might that be?  Is it the opposite of strategy?  Is it a conscious attempt at deconstructing strategy so as to be aware of the inherent blindspots in its practice? I even planned it into my Monday classes without even knowing for sure what I or Simon meant by it. Can you plan in an unstrategy?

Assignment 2102016

Choose your own adventure

I analyzed (am still analyzing) my pre-class notes for Monday in light of the idea of unstrategy by using Vialogues.

I still don’t feel much closer to knowing what an unstrategy is or what it means to unstrategize, but I feel it is a worthwhile exercise. Maybe it has something to do with improvisation or with empathy or with non-striving or with just plain old curmudgeonly cussedness. Suffice to say I will keep on exploring today with new notes and new reflections.



One Reply to “Unstrategy as Strategy”

  1. See comments in Vialogues.

    Very interesting dialogue too.

    Helps me figure out the porous boundaries between ‘strategy’ and ‘unstrategy’.



    “In every bit of honest writing in the world, there is a base theme. Try to understand men, if you understand each other you will be kind to each other. KNOWING A MAN WELL NEVER LEADS TO HATE and nearly always leads to love. There are shorter means, many of them. There is writing promoting social change, writing punishing injustice, writing in celebration of heroism, but always that base theme. TRY TO UNDERSTAND EACH OTHER!”
    ― John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *