Many people are in a mess and don't know how to get out. Why? Because they don't know that there is a whole science dedicated to improving positions and to making better decisions. Sun Tzu's adaptive response strategy is a scientific theory that explains what works in challenging situations. In technical terms, Sun Tzu's strategy is a matrix-based, feedback loop. By "matrix," we mean seeing positions in several dimensions simultaneously. The feedback loop is the adaptive cycle that constantly adjusts to events to improve your position. To understand how different Sun Tzu's strategy is from traditional problem solving, we look at the latest discoveries in cognition and examine the logical limits of traditional planning.
Cognitive Research into Expert Decision-Making
The latest research demonstrates the limits of linear planning and problem solving. In the field of science known as cognitive engineering, adaptive response is known as "rapid cognition" and "recognition-primed decision-making." When researchers compare how novices and experts make decisions, they find that the experts make snap decisions from complex unconscious mental processes while novices use conscious linear reasoning that usually leads to the wrong conclusions. This research documents the reality of the "super powers" of rapid recognition including the ability to see what is invisible to most people. To learn more about this research, go here.
The Roles of Adaptability and Planning
Adaptive response strategy starts with the humble acceptance that planning has limits. Sun Tzu saw that losers clung to their plans like an excuse while winners responded instantly to the unpredictable situations. Both planning and Sun Tzu's strategy are necessary. Planning solves the problem of control while the strategy finds opportunities that we cannot control. Together, they create the resources and need for each other. The problem is that our knowledge of linear planning has overshadowed our understanding of Sun Tzu's strategy. For more on how adaptability works with planning, click here.
The Success of Traditional Strategy
Science depends upon evidence or, more simply, proof. Unlike most new theories of success, there is a wealth of proof that Sun Tzu's strategy works. Sun Tzu's brand of strategy has been proven to work on the battlefields, in business, politics, sports, and everywhere else over and over again. You can read more about the proof here.
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