Many of the world's true leaders in politics, business and sport have succeeded by adopting the mental processes typical of the ingenuity of one of nature's most resourceful animals - the fox. Are these mental processes extraordinary? No, they are perfectly natural, and can be a powerful tool in scenario planning and making decisions.
By drawing on fascinating examples found in business, nature, science, space and sport, Chantell Ilbury and Clem Sunter provide a crisp and entertaining analysis of the mind of a fox and identify the two questions you should ask before committing yourself to action: what do you and do you not control? What is certain and uncertain about the future?
They have constructed an ingenious matrix around these questions, which assists you to identify the rules of the game; assess the key uncertainties; paint scenarios; evaluate realistic options; and thereby make effective decisions. Essentially the matrix will give you the edge: The Mind of a Fox.
Was a massive terrorist strike on Western soil imaginable before 9/11? Yes, if you read The Mind of a Fox, the No. 1 bestseller published in June 2001, which transformed scenario planning from an esoteric discipline into a practical model widely used in the business world.
Now the authors, Chantell Ilbury and Clem Sunter, have extended their model to allow companies to have an intense strategic conversation based on the idea that business is a game which you have to understand before examining different strategies to play it.
In Games Foxes Play - Planning for Extraordinary Times, the authors challenge the American orthodoxy that only leaders with a fixed, central vision (hedgehogs) can achieve greatness. They argue that leaders with a balanced set of beliefs and the capability of adapting to change (foxes) are more likely to win the game in the extraordinary times we live in
Take the analytical method of the father of Western philosophy (Socrates) and the wily habits of nature's cleverest animal (the fox). Add a hint of Eastern mysticism from one of the finest minds ever to grace the field of scenario thinking (Pierre Wack).
Blend all three of these elements - with a sprinkling of originality and plenty of experimentation - into a strategic conversation model and what have you got? Socrates & the Fox.
Chantell Ilbury and Clem Sunter have constructed an agenda of ten questions which, if answered fearlessly and honestly by the management of any organisation, will provide them with a clear idea of their future in the 'game'. Numerous examples from the sessions that the authors have facilitated around the world are given by way of illustration.
Read Socrates & the Fox - you will never see strategy and tactics in quite the same light again.
The Fox Trilogy
The Fox Trilogy celebrates the 10th anniversary of the revolution in strategic thinking sparked by the publication of The Mind of a Fox by Chantell Ilbury and Clem Sunter.
Now available for the first time in one volume with the sequels Games Foxes Play and Socrates & the Fox, this book traces the development of a methodology that is now used around the world by large and small organisations alike. It assumes the future is unpredictable and should be split into different scenarios, each of which has its own flags, probability and optimum course of action. Decisions are based on the balance of evidence.
The model provides people with a speed and quality of response to change that only foxes possess.