Frank McClung

Space for Time in Your Website Strategy

Space is an important aspect of strategy.

A central Soviet strategy in World War II was to trade space for time against the advancing and superior German forces. The Soviet Union needed more time to ramp up military production, gather resources, train soldiers, and prepare a counterattack. They “traded” (at great cost) geographical space, which the former Soviet Union had a lot of, to gain time. It worked. The Soviet forces regrouped and the German forces outran their logistical support. Then the harsh Russian winter hit and the rest is history.

The Chinese Communist forces under Mao Zedong in WWII also used space to obtain an advantage over technologically superior Japanese forces. The Japanese forces held most major coastal cities in China before and throughout the war. Rather than challenge Japanese forces in their urban stronghold, Mao retreated to China’s interior to regroup (space for time), then began controlling the less contested countryside, effectively surrounding Japanese held cites.

The digital “space” your organization’s website operates in has similar challenges and opportunities. When to redesign to meet new business objectives or changing market conditions might require a “space for time” strategy. How to challenge well funded, established players in your market space might mean your website strategy should focus on controlling less contested “space” surrounding those players.

There is no one-size-fits-all strategy for your organization’s website, but understanding how space works in strategy can sharpen your focus, buy you time to garner resources, and use the ones you do have more efficiently.


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