Lesson 1: Introduction to Strategy and Tactics
1. Identify the foundations for strategic and tactical thinking.
Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat. — Sun Tzu, The Art of War
In Lesson 1 you will be introduced to each other and to the reasoning behind the Five Steps to Tactical Innovation taught in this course. The steps draw conceptually from the writings of Sun Tzu in The Art of War, written more than 2,000 years ago. It tells us that planning without action is futile and action without planning is fatal.
Sun Tzu said that good strategy is based on three sources of knowledge:
- Knowing yourself (goals, resources, strengths and limits, allies)
- Knowing your opponent (goals, resources, strategy, strengths and weaknesses, allies)
- Knowing the terrain (social, political, cultural relationships, institutions and structures – where the “battle” will be fought).
Douglas Johnson, the Executive Director for the Center for Victims of Torture, gives six reasons why innovative tactics and a means to develop them are needed to succeed in achieving your goals.
2. Define key terms used in the course.
These are some of the important terms we use throughout the course. These words are used to mean many different things in different contexts. The definitions given here are the way we use them for our purposes.
3. Name the five steps to connect strategy and tactics.
1. Identify the problem
2. Build a common vision
3. Define the terrain (Using Tactical Map and Spectrum of Allies tools)
- Identify relationships around the identified social problem
- Identify allies and opponents on a continuum
4. Explore and select tactics
5. Develop a plan of action for implementation
Now follow the online syllabus starting with the first reading: The Need for New Tactics by Douglas A. Johnson.
Lesson 1 Syllabus
Essential resource materials for this course:
New Tactics in Human Rights: A Resource for Practitioners
1. Introduction to Lesson 1
2. New Tactics Methodology
3. Key Terms (refer to this again, as needed)
4. Need for New Tactics (Johnson) and
5. Introduction to New Tactics Notebook (Goldstone)
Date and time: Wed. Feb. 2, 2011, 8pm Tehran time
Nancy Pearson: "How will tools for strategic and tactical thinking help you better achieve your goals?"
Attribution List "The Center for Victims of Torture - New Tactics in Human Rights Project" as the source for any information used in this document as well as any original attribution provided in this document.
Noncommercial The information is not to be used for profit.
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