Fighting to Lose: How Politicians Get in Wrong

Sun Tzu teaches that attacking others is the poorest way to make progress. In most situations, we hurt ourselves more than we hurt our opponents. This problem is illustrated by the recent ban on new fast-food restaurants in LA. While the politicians think they are attacking fast-food, they are actually rewarding them and actually giving them a pile of profits to promote their product.

Save the World: Stop Eating!

Sun Tzu's strategy was developed because it is so easy to lose touch with reality. How easy? In this earlier post, I compared the idea that we can stop using oil to the idea equally silly idea that to save the environment, we must stop eating. Apparently, this wasn't as much of a parody as I thought. Today, I see this report from ABC news telling us that to save the earth we must stop eating. Or make a start anyway by stop eating beef.

Strategic Perspective: Food for Thought

Foolish ideas seem logical if they are repeated often enough. Sun Tzu's strategy teaches the use of analogies to support logic. For example, do the arguments about energy policy make sense in terms of food policy? Current food technology does a thousand times more ecological damage than any other human activity including using oil. Farming cuts down trees, plows up the land, depletes limited water resources, spreads dangerous chemicals, and intentionally poisons natural plants and animals. Using ecologically unsound food is destroying the planet.

Leveraging Expectations: Prediction Confirmed

In this earlier post on the third of this month, I explained how Sun Tzu's strategy uses subjective perceptions to leverage changes in objective positions. I predicted that if politicians would just start taking actions that would change people's expectations about the FUTURE of oil availability, the price would drop immediately not years ahead when the oil actually becomes available.

Adapting to Change: Part 23,453

A student who is a union member wrote to describe how the management of his railroad is decommissioning new assets despite their efficiency. This is a good example of how organizations fail to understand how methods must adjust to climate. Railroads have a rare opportunity right now. Fuel price rises are hitting their main competitors, the truckers, hard. Asset utilization is not a bad focus for a capital intensive business like railroads, but to improve utilization, what is better: removing assets or increase sales?

Independence and Dependence: You and Government

Sun Tzu's methods leverage forces in the environment to your advantage. We must use those forces but we are independent from them because we can choose our responses. Even if the winds are blowing against us, we can go where we want if we know how to tack correctly. During my appearance on a radio show (WSBA, York, PA) this morning, the host, Gary Sutton, pointed out that John McCain missed an teaching opportunity in commenting on Sen. Gramm's "nation of whiners" statement.

Leveraging Expectations: Bringing Down Oil Prices Immediately

Sun Tzu's Sun Tzu's strategy teaches that it is much easier to change people's subjective view of a position than the physical position itself, and that, by changing people's subjective views, you can leverage real physical changes very easily. This seems like magic, but let us use high oil prices as an example. Despite what the politicians says, they could bring down oil prices dramatically right away if they leveraged people's expectations about the future.

New Business War College Site

We have just created a new site, called the Business War College, where we bring together a number of our materials under a little different label. Of the years of working in the book store market, I became shy about marketing "war" especially since Sun Tzu teaches winning while avoiding conflict. However, since the business world really is increasingly the focus of the world's competitive between ideas, which is a very good thing, it seems appropriate to acknowledge the fact, especially since business people are our main customers.


Subscribe to RSS - Business