Insider Knowledge

Seeing Patterns: Real or Imaginary?

Human beings are wired to find patters, but unfortunately, we can see patterns even where they do not exist. A recent study in Science magazine demonstrates the people imagine patterns even where there are none, especially in times of stress. Like all of science, Sun Tzu's strategy uses patterns, models, for making decisions about the chaotic information in the environment, but these models have been proven over 2,500 years in the most unforgiving environment of all: the life and death struggles of war.

Clear Opportunity: Opposing Bailout

Good strategy means looking and using obvious opportunities rather than looking for opportunities that are subtle and clever. The amazing thing about real life is that people overlook the most obvious opportunities, almost purposely avoiding moving into openings simply because no one else is moving into them. Of course, an opening is defined by the fact no one is moving into it, but our herd instinct works against good strategy.

The Future of Strategy: Creating a Home for Students of Sun Tzu

I personally try to contact all the people who download our free copy of Sun Tzu's work, but one of my frustrations in that most readers don't seem to realize that learning strategy isn't about simply reading a book but relearning how they think about success. Thanks to our recent trainers meeting, I realize what people studying Sun Tzu have been looking for home, a place where they can get together with other people who want to master those concepts. I was recently invited to be part of a group setting up a local Seattle chapter of the Association for Strategic Planners.

SOSI Expands Membership Options

The Science of Strategy Institute is opening membership to the general public who want to use the adaptive strategy of Sun Tzu to be more successful. We are offering a home for a growing number Sun Tzu devotees. Since we have grown to serve a diverse community of people including those interested using better strategy in business, military, martial arts, gaming, and as a life philosophy, we will be offering a number of new community features to help our members network and share experiences.

The Battle Looms: Upcoming Presidential Debates

Much of Sun Tzu's system is based on choosing the conditions under which we meet our opponents. The term that we translate as "battle" from Chinese means "a meeting." It is not the same concept as "conflict," which is another Chinese character (and the worst case outcome of any meeting). Too often, we prepare for meetings with opponents thinking only in terms of conflict and, since that is what both side prepare for, it is too often the result. We are about to see the first meeting of the presidential race.

Over-Reaction to Attack: the Obama Campaign

In Sun Tzu's adaptive response strategy, the one big no-no in the face of adversity is to over-react. The system is about knowing exactly how to respond. If you don't know how to respond, it is better to do as little as necessary. If you panic, you do the wrong things and leave more openings for your opponents. We can see how this works now in the Obama campaign where they are still reeling for the convention/Palin setbacks. Frantically looking for traction, their latest commercial attacks McCain for not using a computer for email.

Act While Others Are Planning: Preventing a Hillary Surprise

Sun Tzu teaches that the best time to move into new territory is while others are still thinking about it.  By seizing a position early, you control what others can and cannot do. The same is true when your "move" is simply suggesting what they should do.  Psychologically, opponents will usually refuse to do what you suggest because most would rather be wrong that prove you right.

Doers Versus Talkers: An Unexplored Obama Weakness

Sun Tzu's adaptive response strategy (STARS) has a built in prejudice toward action. Actions are used more than word to evaluate positions. The progress cycle for advancing a position cannot be completed with taking action. One of our continuing topics on this blogs is how American culture is too dominated by talkers in media and politics rather than doers in business and government. Never has this been more clear than in the current presidential race. Obama and Biden are talkers while McCain and especially Palin have been doers.

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