The Sunday Feed

Game of thrones and Strategic Business Management

We all know that “Strategy” is a term business stole from the army. And so if we really want to see how the military minds apply that in winning wars that seem impossible then where else can we turn to but to one of the most popular series of all times — The Game of Thrones.

Other than what is inside the series, we also need to applaud the making of it in terms of productions and script writing and can never underestimate the effort put by everyone involved in making it a piece of art.

So let’s take a look at some of the things we can learn from the series, especially those that can help us make our business very strong.

1. Money talks:

No matter what you do, at some point of time you will realise that things can be much better if we can plough in more money in promoting the business. Also, the more you are willing to spend, the more likely you are in improve the quality of your product and streamlining the systems and processes.

While the cost of making season 2 was around 6 million per episode, the final one — season 8 cost around 15 million. You get the idea.

What can businesses do: Start small but keep on reinvesting in scaling the business by adding new branches/ systems/ software/ people etc.

2. A good actor is a good actor is a good actor

We cannot deny that the one person whose fame shot up in the sky after the huge success of the series is Peter Dinklage. But credit where it is due, he is the central character in almost all the seasons, so much so that you start missing him when he is absent from the scene for some time.

Having said that, all the actors in the series have performed brilliantly. In fact, they have literally and metaphorically grown from season to season and the sheer change in their anatomy from a child to an adult makes it ever so real.

What can businesses do: Hire employees who have a positive attitude and want to grow with the company. Train them regularly and give them solutions instead of criticism. Look out for the circuit breakers!

3. Knowledge is power

There are 3 characters in the series who control the way in which the drama moves forward or takes shape are:

1. Peter Dinklage — The Lannister

2. Aiden Gillen — The little finger

3. Conleth Hill — Lord Varys

The one thing about all these 3 people is that they have an extremely superior understanding of human psychology and so are able to outsmart the competition. They outplay the people in every situation.

The little finger has an extremely dark side to his character but that set apart, they all use the same weapon to destroy the enemy and that is knowledge and awareness.

What can businesses do: The CEO should share good articles and posts with the employees and explain to them how it relates to the company and its mission. Every problem raised should be dealt with and made into a case study for everyone to watch and learn.

4. Winning is easy, to sustain is the difficult bit.

This is an issue that many companies face. They manage to start a company and win the first battle. It is only after that they realize that there is much more to running a company and dealing with the customers than what they had initially envisaged.

The problem with a lot of companies is that they do not have a plan are not actively seeking ways to go to the next level every time they reach a new level. The result is that after the learning curve is crossed, the average employees will get into the comfort zone and the good ones will leave because there is no challenge.

Understanding the next level is not as easy. Most do not understand this concept at all. But the reason most do not is because most do not make a consorted effort, just like the kings who only think of looting the new kingdom by defeating them. But if there is nothing found in the coffers then the whole effort is wasted. Their own army shrinks and they become even weaker than before.

What can businesses do: Do not spread you wings in other territories unless you learn how to float in your own. In simple terms, make sure that the business you are currently handling is free of any loopholes and has all the flanks well-covered before you think of expanding.

5. Scale matters

A corner store is a corner store. Not that anything is wrong with it but a lot of companies end up becoming a small set-up after a certain time and they are pretty happy operating in that fashion. However, those that increase the scale of their business from time to time will become large household brands.

But for doing this, you will have to form what is called the strategic alliance. Though I do not like the season 8 where everyone comes together to fight the white-walkers, it still remains a perfect example of strategic alliances. Which means that if you really want to scale things up, you will have to align with more like-minded companies and people.

One of the things that help in scaling up is increasing your ground presence. Do not be fooled by this myth of online. If you have a high involvement product, the prospect will want to speak to someone local for a sense of security.

What can businesses do: Always aim at taking your business to the next level after every quarter. Plan out what is required and work towards it in the 3 months leading up to the next quarter.

John Khalkho

CEO: Dolores Education

Photo: Danielle

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