GaryGagliardi's blog

Misconceptions about Sun Tzu and Good Strategy

This article about the current financial crisis brilliant summarizes the skepticism about Sun Tzu in this quote from Lorelei Gilmore, a fictional character on the long-running “Gilmore Girls” sitcom:

“It’s a classic Sun Tzu ‘Art of War’ maneuver. If you’re being attacked from the east, attack whoever’s to your west, and you were the west. I never read the book. It’s full of crap like that.”

Sun Tzu, Hillary Clinton, and Depth of Meaning

Allan Elder sent me this news story about Hillary's recent visit to Beijiing and quoting Sun Tzu regarding our shared danger in the current crisis. The story expresses the quote from Sun Tzu as tongchuan gongji, which probably means literally "together-boat work-river." (Probably because it is impossible to translate Chinese from phonetic representation as opposed to Chinese characters.) This is the shorten proverbial form of the saying, not what actually Sun Tzu wrote.

The Emotional Level of Missions

One of our trainers asks:

I was wondering if you would expand on the concept of a philosophy at the “emotional” level. Thank you.

In one sense, all levels of the philosophy of a motivating mission are emotional because we have to care about them. However, when we discuss the four levels of mission as economic, professional, emotional, and spiritual, we specifically mean the personal one-to-one connections that tie individuals together.

Today's Article on Warrior's Rules

We finished the organizational outline for the Institute's Warrior's Rule Book (S-RULE) over the holidays. Since we will be organizing all our certification and training material around this outline, I have decided to do one posting a day explaining these principles, at least for the next year. I will start with a general posting describing each of the 196 categories of principles on our outline.

Strategy and Scandal II: A Republican Mistake

In the first part of this discussion, we examined the stragic errors that are made when you are involved in a scandal. Strategy also offers rules for when your opponents are caught in scandals. The first rule is to stay away until your opponent creates an opening for you. In the last post, we described these scandals as a media feeding frenzy, as the shark in the press are driven frantic by the smell of blood. Getting involved without an opening is like jumping into the blood filled water: you make yourself a target.

The Different Concepts of Time in Competition and Organization

One of the key differences between adaptive force of competitive strategy and organizing force of management planning is their totally different conceptions of timing. In organization, timing is about the clock and the calendar: the planning and keeping of schedules. However, in competition, timing is about the moments that arise as a confluence of events: the dynamics of enviromental change. Ancient Greek has two different words for these two concepts of time. Kronos is the time of scheduling. Kairos is the time of moments.

Strategy and Scandal: Obama and Blagojevich

Much of traditional strategy involves looking into the future and asking yourself about people's motivations and what they are likely to respond to your actions. Though people's responses cannot be predicted exactly, some responses are more likely than others. For Obama, political scandals like the political pedaling of Gov. Blagojevich are considered environmental attacks, equivalent to Sun Tzu's fire attacks.

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