A facilitated session with a leadership team, building on the framework of strategic principles expressed in Sun-Tzu’s classic text of the Art of War, to:
- Create the opportunity to shape and explore new insights on company strategy
- Challenge the thinking of the team on their current ways of operating.
- Develop actionable items to improve business effectiveness.
Sun-tzu ping-fa (Sun Tzu The Art of War) is one of those rare texts that transcends time. Though it was written more than 2,000 years ago, it is arguably still one of the most important works on the subject of strategy today.
There are many aspects of the “Art of War” that are relevant in modern day business strategy. As is often paraphrased from the Art of War; “The ultimate art of war is to win without fighting”. For a successful review session it is important to focus on those areas that are especially relevant to any given team or organisation and incorporate the current opportunities and challenges faced by the business to develop a targeted agenda.
So it is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you can win a thousand battles without a single loss.
If you only know yourself, but not your opponent, you may win or may lose. If you know neither yourself nor your enemy, you will always endanger yourself.
If you know both yourself and your enemy, you can win a hundred battles without a single loss.
Therefore one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the most skillful. Seizing the enemy without fighting is the most skillful.
Never will those who wage war tire of deception.
A facilitated off-site session with a leadership team can review selected principles of ‘The Art of War’ using practical activities and active discussion and develop specific action items to enhance overall business success.
I Preliminary Reckoning
“Many calculations, victory, few calculations, no victory, then how much less so when no calculations?”
Session focus: developing vision and mission, defining the market place, establishing values and beliefs.
II Operations of War
“The important thing in doing battle is victory, not protracted warfare.”
Session focus: the alignment of resources and strategy – business output mapping, creating an environment for fast decisions and action – ready, fire, aim assessment and planning future organisational capabilities.
III Attack by Stratagem
“One who knows the enemy and knows himself will not be in danger in a hundred battles.”
Session focus: Understand your value proposition to the customer, align your strengths to the opportunities and create an environment where you truly understand what happens operationally.
IV The Order of Battle
“Those skilled in warfare make themselves invincible and then wait for the enemy to become vulnerable.”
Session focus: winning the customer and establishing measurable success.
V The Spirit of the Troops
“Commanding of many is like commanding of a few.”
Session focus: building empowerment and engagement to create extraordinary wins.
VI Emptiness and Strength
“Those skilled in warfare move the enemy, and are not moved by the enemy.”
Session focus: establishing creativity, innovation and surprise and building organisational flexibility.
VII Battle Tactics
“Those who know the principles of the circuitous and direct will be victorious.”
Session focus: Establishing competitive advantage, strategic alliances and marketing communications.
VIII Nine Changes
“The intelligent general contemplates both the advantages and disadvantages.”
Session focus: Driving change and ensuring effective change management.
IX Army Manoeuvres
“Use the ground for assistance.”
Session focus: managing resources, building on your strengths, effective performance management.
X Ground Formation
“If you know the Heaven and you know the Ground, the victory is complete.”
Session focus: picking your battles, identifying market opportunities, knowing your competitors weaknesses.
XI Nine Grounds
“One who is skilled in warfare leads them by the hand like they are one person; they cannot but follow.”
Session focus: effective planning and organising and keeping the organisation on track.
XII Assault by Fire
“There are appropriate seasons for using fire attacks, and appropriate days for raising fires.”
Session focus: creating disruption, the importance of transformational approaches.
XIII Using Spies
“Enlightened rulers and good generals who are able to obtain intelligent agents as spies are certain for great achievements.”
Session focus: building market intelligence networks and competitive data capabilities.
The Art of War identifies practical approaches that have enduring relevance through more than two millennia and will repay your time in reading and reflecting on its messages.
Contact Sandra Lai at Nolimits to arrange a discussion on how mastering the Art of War can help you become even more successful today. Email or call Sandra at firstname.lastname@example.org or +65 6232 2466.