The strategy model "Königsplan"

In several years of research, Grandmaster Stefan Kindermann, Professor Robert von Weizsäcker and international player Dijana Dengler have investigated the most effective strategies of the chess grandmasters. Their model The King’s Plan enables you to adopt their techniques, which have been forged in world-class chess and have stood the test of time for centuries, and make use of them both professionally and privately. What makes The King’s Plan unique is that it links a structured and rational approach with intuitive elements. Only merging a clear systematic approach with our emotional-intuitive powers enables us to think, plan and act in a masterly way. For the first time, concrete techniques are shown by which we can put this insight to practice.

Over purely rational centuries, the decisive human trump card was criminally neglected! Today we know that human intuition, long dismissed as “esotericism”, plays the absolutely central role in all our planning, decisions and also creative solutions. In truth, it is the outstanding gut feeling that makes the difference and also determines the quality of a good leader!

However, intuition is by no means infallible either. Our gut feeling has clear limitations in assessing probabilities and is subject to distortions caused by greed or fear. Only in the right combination with our ratio it unfolds its full power.

Chess masters have been developing and perfecting their use of intuition for 1500 years. They have learned to pay very close attention to their spontaneous gut feeling, to develop it systematically and to combine it with logically structured thinking. Only in this way do they succeed in making optimal decisions in an unimaginable ocean of possibilities, even under time pressure and stress.

Overview – The Seven Steps:

1. Begin in Best Form

The optimal mind-set is a vital prerequisite for every top performance. Here, it is all about finding a direct and integral access to our personal resources. This will inspire both intuition and reason and help harmonise them.

2. Embrace the Present

A meticulous stocktaking ensures that, first and foremost, we are grounded in the here and now before we start making any plans for the future. We will take stock of existing problems and resources and dissect a complex situation into single components. At this stage, imagination has to wait:  what is really there? What can I rely on? In stages 3-6, intuition will come into its own. It will play a crucial role at the beginning as well as at the end of the planning, validating and decision-making process. The King’s Plan model embeds intuition into a rational structure, guides it towards critical points and probes it thoroughly.

3. Creative Cycle

The technique presented here is an adoption of a principal thinking scheme of the chess grandmasters. First, it produces creative ideas and gives room for imagination and intuition. Complementing this, and equally important, the ideas found come under close scrutiny straight away. The third step is a realistic synthesis of the pros and cons. As a result, the new ideas generated will have a solid foundation. Faced with problems of a more complex order, this step will narrow down the choices for the next step.

4. Sensible Search

The forward thinking algorithm leads step by step from where we are towards different future scenarios, comparing and evaluating them. We can “cut off” branches with a relatively unfavourable outcome and thus quickly gain a clear overview of our possible actions and their consequences. We start with a higher-level, macro-strategic approach and analyse details only later if needed. We also set red flags that hint to a necessary change of plans along the way. This forward-oriented approach is indispensible if there is no clear goal yet.

5. Good Goals

Here it is all about purposefully and precisely defining your goal. Finding your goal using precise criteria about what you want to accomplish is a crucial condition for successful planning and can be imagined as a stocktaking that has been projected into the future. If the goal has not been clearly defined or cannot be intuitively described, steps 3 and 4 will help us do this.

6. Back along the Timeline

The backwards-thinking algorithm takes the final goal as a starting point. From this future vision, we move backwards along the timeline, via several intermediate goals, back to the here and now. In cases where the goal is clear, this approach can be superior to the traditional approach from step 4. Testing goals can be an important resource. We suppose a goal we have found intuitively can be reached. We verify this by examining all the intermediate goals. Only if it is possible to reach the intermediate goals will the end goal be a realistic one. Employing both step 4 and 6 combined is very important. Often it is exactly where the forward and backward timelines meet that an immediate solution to a complex problem will spring to mind.

7. Rewarding Reflection

After a project that has been planned and prepared is finally realised, it has to be reviewed in a critical and constructive way. In this review, we will manage possible setbacks in a constructive manner, put the experiences made into perspective and draw energy from our achievements. If, during the course of a complex planning, one of the intermediate steps proves to be especially tough, we can isolate this problem from the bigger structure and apply the King’s Plan steps to it in isolation. After it has been solved, we can re-insert it into the original structure.