Evaluting a New Position Before Moving: Example of Bad Tax Policy

Before moving to a new position, Sun Tzu's strategy teaches that you have to evaluate that position from the perspective of where it leads. The idea is that we don't want to get into a position that is either hard to defend or from which it is difficult to escape in the future. Unfortunately, in reacting to events, most people are not in the habit of thinking about the next move just getting out of their current situation. This is especially true of the political class.

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.

The Natural Balance of Fullness and Emptiness: How Government Bailouts Make Things Worse

As with all sciences, the study of strategy studies the operation of natural systems. All such systems exist as a balance of forces. Sun Tzu abstracted this balance as emptiness and fullness, basing his vision on the concept of complementary opposites that is known as the Chinese concept of yinyang. The dynamics of nature continually shift the balance of forces, but the universe doesn't fly off in chaos or freezing into stasis because of this mainspring built into nature. While we humans can leverage the forces of nature, we cannot control them.

The Limits of Control: Why Bailouts Don't Work

One of the foundations of Sun Tzu's system is that we have to adapt to environment because we cannot control it. I have written extensively about the illusion of control in many posts, especially the mistaken idea that the government is god and can rewrite the rules of nature at will. This has failed every time it has been attempted. As long as our political candidates feel they need to perpetuate the illusion of government control, we are the worse for it. While Wall Street rose briefly on the news of the government bailout, you cannot hold back the tide.

Experience is the Great Teacher: Is Palin Experienced Enough?

Though we base our teaching on Sun Tzu's The Art of War, you don't gain skills in strategy (or any other valuable skill) from reading a book. Developing true skill requires experience, which is why our training focuses on exercises in decision-making. However, there is a BIG difference between ten years of experience and one year of experience repeated ten times. For example, take Gov. Palin's experience as governor. Is two years of experience enough? You all know from your own careers that it doesn't take four years to find out if someone can do a job.


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