Gustavo Ballvé on May 25th, 2009
Corporate Strategy, Food for thought, Mental models

Underdogs stand a better chance to win when they don’t play by the “rules” – when they innovate. Can’t beat the opponent at his game? Change the game. From a basketball team of 12-yr-old white girls making it to the Nationals to David to Lawrence of Arabia, Malcolm Gladwell’s (long) article at the New Yorker lists strategies that surprised much-stronger foes and wonders why it isn’t a more common practice to at least try this. I could mention Robert the Bruce/ William Wallace’s campaign in Scotland too, and by the way don’t trust Mel Gibson’s film on this :-) Sure, there are typical “Gladwell-esque” playing-to-the-crowd quantum leaps, but the overall message – question convention – is quite powerful.

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