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Two Cannibals and a Beautiful Girl


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I was having dinner with Philip, a good friend of mine, and we got on to talking about strategy. At which point Philip told me this excellent story. It is a little risky but it has an excellent message so here goes with my paraphrased version!


It was deep in the Amazon forest and two cannibals (a father and son) were walking along. Suddenly they came into a clearing and there lay a beautiful young lady

The son, said "I’m hungry and she looks great to eat dad, shall we go and tuck in".  

The dad considered for a moment and said "Son you’re thinking operationally, we could eat her but what would we do with the remains".

"I see" said the son "well what about if we get her to walk back to the village, then we could share her with the rest of the village and perhaps even keep some till tomorrow".  

The father considered this for a moment and said "Son you’re your thinking tactically, after we’d eaten her, what would we do for food in the future".  I don’t know said the son, what do you suggest?

"Well" said the dad "lets take the strategic view point. Why don’t we eat your mother… " and the rest you can imagine?  

What an interesting story with so much to think about but here is my thought. I think of strategy as a tool to create objectives and goals but in this story the strategic view relates to immediate actions, so what would happen if I started to think of my options at all three levels. 

So till next week, achieve your goals through good operational, tactical and strategic thinking.

David Gardner

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 The Machine That Changed the World
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