Art of War Quote:
"Make victory in war pay for itself."
Sun Tzu's The Art of War 2:5:1
"People often resist change for reasons that make good sense to them, even if those reasons don't correspond to organizational goals. So it is crucial to recognize, reward, and celebrate accomplishments." Rosabeth Moss Kanter
"Advancing a position" doesn't mean simply changing it. We can easily confuse motion with progress. A sports team can move the ball down the field but unless they score, they don't make progress. Movement isn't progress unless it gets us closer to our goals in a meaningful way. We have a tendency to place too much value in a new position simply because we work to get there. We also have a tendency to continue to invest in non-rewarding positions hoping to turn them around. Sun Tzu's strategy defines success as making victory pay. Winning a new position alone is not success. We must know the rules for turning advances into rewards.
Our opportunity at this point in the process is to discover the real value of a move. We describe all moves as experiments because we cannot know exactly either the cost or benefits of a new position before attaining it. In the aim step, we select the highest probability opportunities, but a high probability of getting rewarded is far from a guarantee (4.0 Leveraging Probability). After winning a new position, we are in a position to discover what it is worth. If it isn't worth maintaining, it is not worth claiming.
The following six keys describe how competitive rewards are won.
- A new position isn't successful unless it gives us additional, tangible resources. We need tangible validation from other people because we have the tendency to overvalue positions. We also have a tendency, called false consensus effect, to over-estimate how much people agree with our assessment. We need other people to give us valuable resources on the basis of our new position to prove its value (8.1 Successful Positions).
- We must make claims on others in order to get rewards. Positions exist both as facts and opinions. We can do the work necessary to win a new position and create value, but we cannot get rewarded for that work unless we ask others for those rewards. People take conditions for granted. Unless we ask, people may not recognize our work nor think about rewarding us. Only by asking can we start to change the subjective perception of our position (8.2 Making Claims).
- To maximize our rewards, we need a clear process that increases our value as perceived by others. We see and understand the value of our new position, but others are not automatically aware of it, even if its reality is right in front of them. We must know how to gauge, package, engage, and manage that perception of value (8.3 Securing Rewards).
- All claims are built on a foundation of individual contact. Though claims can be made to larger groups, in the end rewards are given by individuals. Individual decisions are affected by the group, but choices are made only by individual. This means that we get rewarded by understanding and following the keys to successful individual contact. Mismanaging contact dramatically decreases our chances of making successful claims (8.4 Individual Support).
- To assure action on our rewards, we must know how to leverage people's emotions. People only take action when they are motivated to do so. That motivation is largely emotional, especially when it comes to winning rewards. The less emotion we generate, the longer it will take to get rewarded. The faster a new position produces tangible rewards, the less our risk and the greater its long-term value is likely to be. The longer a position requires to show its value, the lesser that value is likely to be. It is usually less costly to find a better position than it is to continue to invest in a losing position. Unless we understand and know how to use emotions in our claims, we will never get as much as our position deserves (8.5 Leveraging Emotions).
- To claim rewards, we must know how to claim people's attention. In today's increasingly crowded environment, more and more people are competing for our attention. The chaos of crowded, dynamic environments creates the desire for clarity and simplicity in making claims. We must know how to contrast our claims with the claims of others in order to get attention (8.6 Winning Attention).
- We must get rewarded in a way that makes future rewards more likely. The "keys to the ground" dictate how claims must be made. Each competitive arena has its own keys. We must know the keys to the ground regarding getting rewarded before we advance to a new position. Learning the keys to the ground is part of the listening stage of strategy, but we set up future rewards by the way we claim our current rewards. At the claim stages, we must conform to those keys to make our new position pay (8.7 Productivity Improvement).
We often compare this process to a prospector staking a claim on a gold mine.
- A new position isn't successful unless is gives us additional, tangible resources. The process of searching and finding gold isn't enough to get rewarded. A miner who finds gold and doesn't stake and develop his claim correctly has wasted his time.
- We must make claims on others in order to get rewards. Others must verify that our claim is recorded legally and that the gold is valuable by being willing to buy it.
- To maximize our rewards, we need a clear process that increases our value as perceived by others. In gold mining, the process is standardized to essaying the gold, staking the claim, filing the claim, and working the mine. Without the process, no formal claim can be made.
- All claims are built on a foundation of individual contact. We must have others test our goal and legally verify our claim. The testing step is getting the newly discovered ore assayed to see if it is worth mining. The visible claiming step is the same as filing the claim with the government.
- To maximize our rewards, we must know how to leverage people's emotions. The more excited people about the value of gold, the more likely we are to find investors to help us set up the mine and buyers willing to pay us for the gold.
- We must often get the attention of others to get the rewards we deserve. Gold is a well recognized form of value. Some may not be impressed by it, but most are if we simply make our possession of gold known.
- We must get rewarded in a way that makes future rewards more likely. There are many ways to get rewarded from a gold mine. We could mine it ourselves and sell the gold or we could sell the claim. We must choose the methods that are mostly likely to maximize our return over time.