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Oblique Strategies for Leaders

CHF 60.00

One hundred coaching cards for self reflection, boxed, with leaflet.


A good idea is only good at the right time and place. If you read a book, listen to a speaker, or watch a video, you may get new ideas that are very useful – somewhere, sometime. But they most certainly are not adapted to your context, and may come at the wrong moment. 

This is why the best leaders take such ideas and weave them into their regular self-reflection. The problem with this: you tend to forget good ideas before you find the first instance to actually practice their application. 

Now imagine you get one hundred teasers that trigger off your reflection in novel ways. That’s what Oblique Strategies for Leaders do.

I can see how periodically flipping through the cards can help us to think about what is important, what we may have overlooked, and how to think out-of-the-box. I will certainly suggest these to others as an interesting stimulus.

– Edgar H. Schein, author, The Corporate Culture Survival Guide, Humble Leadership

In 1975, musician Brian Eno and painter Peter Schmidt published a set of cards called Oblique Strategies which they used to overcome creative blocks by encouraging lateral thinking. The cards have become legend.

In 2010, John Kay published a book called Obliquity, which shows how in business, politics and many other areas of life, goals are often better achieved obliquely.

The same is true for leadership. In leadership, useful approaches are highly contextual and occasional. Contextual, because what works in one context may inspire you in another, but you cannot copy-paste a recipe. Occasional, because you cannot know beforehand when a particular insight will be useful next. Therefore, generic knowledge on leadership can be useful if it invites you to reflect and build your own solution in your actual context. You browse through various approaches in the search for serendipity, accepting that many of them do not speak to you right now, until you come across one which catches your attention, and lets you reflect in an unusual, but on this occasion very useful, way.

The most powerful quality of a leader is their self-reflection.

Oblique Strategies for Leaders are one hundred cards that invite you to think. They never give you a solution. They may give you a direction to search for your solution. They offer a dilemma, a role, or a perspective worth investing. Where these thoughts lead you, is up to you. In most cases, the easy answer is not a good answer.

Option: Personalise your cards with your company logo

For orders over 50 copies, you can personalise the box with your company logo, and get a bulk discount from 20% upwards. Please contact

©2019 Bernhard Sterchi, Palladio Trusted Advisers AG

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