Tactical Pause

I came across the term of this post's title through assessment of where the battling Ukraine armed forces are at with the potential next Spring Offensive just the other side of the harsh Winter.

It suggests a tactical break in fighting so that you may re-organise.

With materiel from the World's democracies struggling, for all sorts of reasons, to keep up with demand, such tactical breaks in trying to force the barbaric, authoritarian invaders back to Russia are perhaps more the norm right now.

Trench warfare of the man-o-man variety is one main meat grinder. Given Putin has conscripted vast numbers of unsuitables yet serve a purpose for the tyrant, weight of numbers feels potentially smothering. Then there's the rapid evolution of drone warfare most keen observers didn't expect to emerge so soon.

Pause indeed, maybe more in the Strategic mould too.

The phrase reminded me of several such exhortations amid chaos of the fight, to take a breath.

From the military, I've blogged on similar before.

From 2011, slow is smooth, smooth is fast, about how to get fast, you must go slow.

Maybe one of the most famous ideas is the warning that only fools rush in (Specifically to where angels fear to tread.) The angle here being that it's foolish to take action if you don't know much about what you're doing.

Slightly different - although this one does trouble me as too many use it as an excuse to never do anything - is the concept of inaction is action. I would often turn this around, as to not act can be to stand still, which is to go backwards. And if you consider this a truism, then you can re-focus on what doing nothing as 'action' looks like, and leads to.

Then there's a chess term from the German which could apply too; zugzwang.

Literal meaning; 'compulsion to move'. It's used in turn-based games. Of which a competitive bid can certainly have elements of that.

Where when it's your move, but to make one would put you at a disadvantage.

Being solution salespeople, we no doubt try to change the frame. If not re-write the rules [see also the Kobayashi Maru test et al].

And on this blurring of boundaries, according to the first result returned; a player is said to be 'in zugzwang' when any legal move will worsen their position.

Yet my favourite around these remains the first insight I ever learned into this;

Festina Lente.

Less haste, more speed.

You can often increase pace when panicking, and when so, you lose your powers of good judgement.

A reaction for the sake of immediacy seldom a good move.

Naturally, I'd say prevention is better than cure. And the pursuit of your optimum sales process, through constant refinement is the way.

To drop another widely cited deepism;

continuous improvement is better than delayed perfection.

As if the perfection of hitting your targets time after time can have any other source...

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