Strategy Institute

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.

Unexpected Opportunities: Our Strategy Radio Network

Sun Tzu teaches that we have to recognize opportunities and make decisions about how to use them in an instant. This is necessary because events creates opportunities in unexpected ways. For example, when Sarah Palin picked for VP, it turns out the Cliff, my brother-in-law, who works for us setting up radio interviews, used to be a next door neighbor of Sarah's.

Instant Gut Decisions: Illustrated by McCain and Obama

We talk and write a lot about how the recognition-based adaptive decision-making taught by Sun Tzu helps people make the right decisions instantly (see articles here). At the recent Saddleback Presidential Forum last Saturday, we saw the difference in someone trained academically in critical thinking and someone trained in the Sun Tzu's strategy. While Obama's answers were all intelligent enough, they were unfocused and rambling as he tried to think his way through the issues.

Surprise to Change Momentum: McCain and the VP Choice

In Sun Tzu's The Art of War, surprise or, more specifically, innovation, has a very specific role. You use it at the right time to change momentum. When a standard move works, doing what is expected never changes momentum. For example, in the current presidential campaign, no attack on the opposition, no matter how effective, is going to change momentum because such attacks are expected. Sarah Palin on Vogue Magazine What kind of surprises could the candidates use?

Talk Versus Action: Did Tough Talk from Obama Stop Russia?

A reader Steve writes:
I'm a big fan of your books and blog and eager to learn your brilliant take on current events. I'm curious what you might think about "over" claiming as Gov. Tim Kaine appears to do in this video. Reminds me of your example of a rooster claiming credit for the sunrise. Ballsy or brilliant?
The quote to which Steve refers is from Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine who explained how Obama saved Georgia from the evil Russians:

Key Strategic Mistakes: the Presidential Race Thus Far

This would be a good time to look at the presidential race thus far in terms of strategy. The race could be a landslide either way in November but remains close because both candidates keep making simple strategic errors. The top three strategic flaw for each candidate are: Obama: 1) Slow to recognized and correct judgment errors, i.e. Rev. Wright and Iraq surge, 2) Failure to see climate differences between big cities and most of America, 3) Seems more interested in winning praise than winning the election.

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.

Communication and Symbols: Obama's Strengths

Leadership demands great communication skills. Sun Tzu specifically teaches that a leader must focus his people's attention on him using the right tools. One of the great weaknesses of Bush has been his lack of such skills and his inability to use symbols. The later half of Obama's European trip, the speech in Germany and press conference in France, were great applications of communication skills and symbolism. McCain simply pales in comparison, but such skills can be mastered no matter what your natural limitations.


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