What map are you playing on? – Freelance planning

In college I played a lot of video games. Many with roommates, some with people across the world.

My absolute favorite, and one that still brings back good memories, is the original Halo.

If you haven’t been exposed to Halo or know what it’s about, basically you’re a human super-soldier who is protecting humanity from invading aliens.

Standard sci-fi stuff.

Halo is also a first person shooter, where the majority of the time you’re running around with a gun and shooting aliens, all from the perspective of the main character.

While that was fun, the most fun was when we’d play as a group. Four vs four, two vs two.

And of that the most-most (most-most-est?) fun was playing capture-the-flag. In this mode each team had a flag at their base that they had to protect from the other team. While doing that you also had to try to capture the other team’s flag.

If you played 100% defense, you wouldn’t get your flag taken but you also wouldn’t capture the enemy’s flag and score.

Playing 100% offense wouldn’t work either. You’d lose your flag and have to recapture it before you could score.

This meant a lot of teamwork and communication, which was one of the main points.

But there was another point Halo made.

The layout of the map mattered more than your tactics.

On a map with a wide open area around your homebase, you could take more risks because you’d see the enemy coming and could stop them.

But on a small map with multiple hidden entries to your base, you had to play more defensive in case the other team sneak in.

The overall strategy was the same: capture the enemy flag and prevent yours from getting taken.

But the tactics you used changed depending on map you played in and where your homebase was.

If you take a step back and look at your business as your homebase, what kind of map (environment) is it on?

Is it a large map where you can see far off into the distance and predict when changes will happen?

Is it a small map with lots of nooks and crannies where your competition can sneak up on you?

Do you have to play a strong defense to keep what you have?

Or can you play a more aggressive offense and experiment?

Most importantly of all: what changes have happened to change the map since you’ve started? Have you actually addressed these changes or are you still using a strategy for the wrong map?

Make sure to play to the strengths of the map and don’t be afraid of changing your tactics together with the map.

Eric Davis

P.S. Have you ever been blind-sided by a change in your industry or environment? What about something you predicted that came true? Let me know.