For the last several years, I have approached chess from a health perspective. How chess benefits the mind, the body and the soul. Chess helps strengthen your focus, forces you to slow down, increases concentration, brain power, critical thinking, reasoning, and learning to think long term. Can chess also help business owners create a strategic planning system so that they can use the game of chess to help their businesses succeed? I believe so!

The First Part of the Strategic Planning System:

In comparing strategic planning in chess versus a business, I believe it starts off the same way. One begins with a clean slate as one is starting from scratch. You have to start somewhere but it is often slow because nothing is apparent at the beginning. In a business, it is the concept of an idea, business formalities (type of entity structure), the creation of a business bank account, accounting, tax, marketing etc. Chess is very similar since at the beginning, one starts out with a starting position, an opening phase and a middle game plan. They have to come in order as otherwise, everything would be a massive mess!

The Second Part of the Strategic Planning System:

After formalities are establshed, there is now a clear plan of attack. One has gotten past the beginning stage and now needs systems in place where everything is working together in harmony. According to the Balance Scorecard Institute, strategic planning is “an organizational management activity that is used to set priorities, focus energy and resources, strengthen operations, ensure that employees and other stakeholders are working toward common goals, establish agreement around intended outcomes/results, and assess and adjust the organization’s direction in response to a changing environment”.

In chess, this means that all of our chess pieces (resources) work towards a goal, an outcome (which is to checkmate our opponent or force our opponent to resign), and change/pivot our plan as necessary in response to how our opponent replies to our moves. Secondly, our energy on the chess board is the result of our cognitive capacity and our 100% focus on the present situation given to us. A short term goal would be for the next 3 moves while long term goals could be for the next 10+ moves depending on the situation on the chess board.

My Take:

Chess and creating a strategic planning system go hand in hand. There are many striking similarities due to the need for systems in the beginning and in the end that set our priorities straight for what we want to acheive. In chess, we can always change our plan due to how our opponent responds and the power of patience. An entrepreneur can take this framework and then use it to adjust his business due to changes in the market. Resources can be allocated differently but one still must have a sense of focus on what the end goal really is. I will let you decide that.

I hope you enjoyed this post and if you have any questions or comments, please leave them below and I will be more than happy to answer!

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