Situational response teaches you the most successful reactions to specific situations. It gives you the confidence to use these reflexes without a moment's hesitation. This is the most detailed and advanced component of Sun Tzu's strategy. It is the highest level of adaptive decision-making and the most powerful. In STARS Training, this area covers four skills, 1) Fast Response, 2) Creative Response, 3) Position Claiming, and 4) Position Security. They correspond to the four formulas, Undermine Uncertainty, Leverage Leaps, Acquire Awards, Secure Safety.
Speed in Decision Making
The faster you make the right decisions, the more successful you are going to be. In a wide range of situations, the longer it takes you to identify the correct move, the more likely it will be that that move fails. In responding to situations, you want the right decision to leap instantly into mind.
Even the decision not to act must be a choice rather than the result of indecision. Once you master situational response, you can instantly see when all available actions are either too expensive or too risky.
Making quick decisions is critical because fast, short moves are always more powerful than long, large moves. Smaller, faster groups also make more progress than larger, slower groups. You create strategic leverage by putting a small amount of the right resources in exactly the right position at the exact right time to create the maximum advantage. Since windows of opportunity often open for just a moment, you must see them instantly.
You are aware of about 30,000 events every day. This is approximately one every second of your waking life. An event can be anything: a word, a look, even something that is not said. For most people, these events have little meaning, but for those trained in Sun Tzu's strategy, each event automatically adds to your situation awareness. When an event triggers your recognition of an opportunity, your reflexes are primed for instant recognition.
You must adapt your responses to the specific events shaping of your situation. All situations consist of a number of specific conditions that are well-defined within Sun Tzu's strategy. Situational strategy teaches you how to see every event as a brush stroke painting the outline of the situation. As its various characteristics become clearer, you can instantly know the specific responses necessary demanded by each specific condition. Without trained strategic reflexes, most people never see the plot much less know how to respond to it. Once you master Sun Tzu's system, your responses are finely tuned to the mixture of elements in the situation.
An important aspect of situation response is the ability to avoid conflict. Since all conflict is always costly, you need to see the mistakes that lead up to conflict and avoid them. You develop the reflex of looking for ways to make victory pay. Your success is much more certain when conflict is avoided. If you set up situations so that the elements are all in your favor, you discourage people from attacking you and make it much more likely that they will join you.
Since perceptions create reality and reality creates perceptions, the least costly way to overcome resistance is by doing what is unexpected but appropriate at a critical time. At a critical turning point, expectations must be leveraged by an innovative approach. An appropriate surprise alone can overcome specific obstacles. Though innovation cannot be predicted, Sun Tzu's strategy has its own approach to innovation that starts by mixing the actions required by situation response.