How did PAS emerge?

The principal developer of Proactive Asymmetric Strategy (PAS) is David Hartmann, founder of Strategic-Surprise.com. He researched and practiced approaches to the creation of strategic surprise in military and governmental settings, academic research and in the business world. Over the years PAS evolved as a distinct practical approach for achieving strategic surprise based on various aspects of asymmetrical strategic thinking. Its major ingredients are psychology, business strategy, military studies, ontology and the philosophy of logic.

Proactive Asymmetric Strategy (PAS) is "inspired" by managers who lay off workers for lack of strategy; by generals sending young people to die in pointless operations for lack of imagination; by consultants destroying shareholder value because they "know what's best for the company"; by soldiers who think sneaking around with a turban on their head will make them asymmetric warriors.

On the other hand, there were always strategists throughout history who knew what we know - without David Hartmann and without PAS - at times when strategic surprise was just that, without the ".com". Scipio Africanus of Rome (perhaps the best strategist of all time) and Genghis Khan would be examples of such strategists. The T'ai Kung of ancient China and Mahatma Ghandi of India are less typical but still pass as examples from the political world. Cleopatra might have made the list had she not been surrounded by incapable people (or had she hired us).

But there are three limitations to these examples.

  1. You cannot hire any of these gentlemen.
  2. Most of them were not conceptual strategists but limited to their field. (Try to picture Genghis Khan or Cleopatra advising a toy manufacturer.)
  3. Many of them followed intuition, and not a method.

2 and 3 mean that 1 would remain true even if they returned to life. PAS is an opportunity for you to win like Scipio Africanus.


"Those with unorthodox talents and unique knowledge should be employed to discuss future events." Hsue Tung