GaryGagliardi's blog

Napoleon and Sun Tzu

A reader writes:

Your web-page states that Napoleon made use of "The Art of War". I spent eight years studying Napoleon's early career, and never discovered a single piece of evidence to show this. On the other hand, it is quite clear that he made use of the writings of the great French strategist, Pierre Bourcet, as well as those of the Chevalier Du Teil, among others. Napoleon didn't really need to read "The Art of War" because European writings contained all that he needed to develop into a great general. Yours, Martin BB.

The Use of Climate

A Institute Member writes:

My biggest struggle is using Climate. My own prejudice gets in the way. I really hate it when I see any “sales” pitch that applies pressure to “buy now” because the sky is falling. Even when it’s true, I hate to see it used to influence or manipulate me. Therefore, I tend to soften the Climate and avoid any kind of buy now approach.

Sun Tzu's strategy is in our Genes

Here is an interesting article about research into human behavior in competition, but like most academic takes on strategy, it confuses violence with competition. The results of such studies can be interpreted both more usefully and more consistently within Sun Tzu's strategy instead of to promote a particular professor's (or article writer's) prejudices.

Illusion versus Reality: Stasists versus Dynamists

Strategy teaches us to adjust and leverage change. No strategy can stop the pain of change. The illusion is that the government or anyone can "freeze" the status quo so that change won't hurt anyone at any time. The reality is that the government cannot stop change, only dam it up, redirect it, causing it to spill out more slowly and painfully over time, transforming it from a severe 24 hour flu into a lingering, debilitating illness.

Strategy Journal

This weekend, we hope to finish moving all past Strategy Journal articles to the Institute membership site. In the past, just members of the Strategy School have had access to the Journal and its article archive. In the future, all Institute members will have access. Associate members will have access to all current articles. Full members will have access to the complete archives.

The Price of Success: Why Obama Must Reverse his Positions

In my seminars, I point out that as each advance of a position creates a new set of challenges. When our dreams come true, we don't find Nirvana, but a new set of goals, a new mission. Even when you win the highest office in the land, the Presidency, the job is always just beginning. Obama now realizes this as he gets ready to assume office. Each competitive ground has its own rules. In the case of the US Presidency, the rule is that you are failure as president unless you are reelected. Your re-election is the people's one chance to vote on how good a president you have been.

First Mover Advantage: Another Lesson from 2008 Presidential Politics

Everyone knows about the strategic need for speed. 2,500 years ago, Sun Tzu wrote that the best time to move is while your opponent is still planning, perhaps the first statement about how strategy favors action over planning. IWe call this the first mover advantage, but the Internet has changed the rules of time and space even more fundamentally to an "any time/any place" mentality that makes the need for speed even more important.

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