The Need: Positioning the Institute


The Institutes current focus is building a simple yet strong sales story for our training. Our goal is to make this story so powerful that it will capture people's imagination and get them to act, bringing our trainers into their organization to training their people in Sun Tzu's science of strategy.

We need an overpowering sales story because the world of employee training is an extremely competitive market. Training departments routinely get 20-40 solicitations for different types of training per day. We cannot break through this crowded market by the normal routes. We want to avoid competing directly with any existing training, but, at the same time, insist that there is a serious need for employee training that other training organizations have missed entirely.

Sun Tzu's method for doing this is by leveraging the changes in the environment. Those changes open up holes in the market. Changes in cognition research is an interesting opening, but more interesting are the changes that executives are feeling. The latest evidence for the type of hole we are looking for comes from surveys of executives and research into the problems and successes of corporate strategy. As we gather more of this research, we realize that many people are coming to the same conclusion.

Our world is changing quickly. Globalization, the information revolution, and shift from production to service are reshaping the

worldwide economy. While traditional training addresses the need for better internal processes, the growing need is for better decision making at every level of the organization. Training front-line people in competitive strategy is no longer a luxury but a necessity.

The world is being transformed from a blue-collar world of process users into a white-collar world of decision-makers. Improving processes has reached a point of diminishing returns. What matters now is the quality of the decisions made based on the increased pace of change. This means that the  challenge is creating a more engaged workforce. The trends of the last six years show that this problem is getting more serious over time.

Key executives are clearly aware that their people need to think and act more competitively. However, most are at a loss for ways to actually accomplish this transformation. This failure is seen in terms of executing corporate strategy.

In an thorough examination of this execution, the researchers came to the conclusion that:

"Execution is the result of thousands of decisions made every day by employees acting according to the information they have and their own self-interest."

In a separate analysis of the broad range of research on corporate strategy, another group of analysts made the surprising discovery that strategy is increasingly being set on the front lines long before it is officially recognized by headquarters. The difference between success and failure is your people's

ability to recognize and leverage new opportunities.

Once you accept that the world is changing, how do you

train your workforce

to deal with these new realities?

Competitive Arenas: