Thursday, July 8, 2010
When putting together the team, my current employer stated two prerquisites: prior service on a Special Forces Operational Detachment ‘Alpha’, and a working knowledge of the principles of Sun Tzu. When I began studying Sun Tzu - as a private in the 82d Airborne - the connection between this ancient general's philosophy and the modern corporate world mystified me. Nowadays it makes so much sense; the battlefield changes from forests and mountains and deserts to the corporate meeting rooms; swords and rifles are laid down for computers and . . . well, we still have use for firearms, but only for when we are physically defending corporate lives and property. - Sean Linnane
If the goal of the kingdom (or in this case, the corporation) is to survive and prosper, then what is the goal of its strategy? Sun Tzu offers this advice:
“Your aim must be to take All-under-Heaven intact. Thus your troops are not worn out and your gains will be complete. This is the art of offensive strategy.”
This is the over-arching principle of the great Chinese philosopher-general; the greatest victory is the one you win without having to fire a shot, i.e, you are so well-prepared on the pathway to war, that your enemy declines combat.
The great warrior / philosopher Bruce Lee describes his style as “the Art of Fighting Without Fighting” - that is, to achieve one’s objective without undue cost, or self-destruction.