Sunday, November 22, 2009

Best Practices for The Pragmatic Strategists

Many of our associates are believers of the Asian strategy classics and are avid players of the Chinese and Japanese martial arts. During our chats and emails, we talked about our various internal martial arts training experience and enjoy quoting from the strategy classics and various martial art essays.

At our annual dinner party, we discussed the topic of the best practices that we have found helpful in our many years of strategic practice. After dinner, we compiled a list of the best practices that might be helpful to the next generation of strategists.

Here are the most relevant of the practices outlined below for the strategists.

Side note: Much of the content in this article is common sense. The article's goal is to ensure that our readers have a foundation for improving their training and their performance.

Strategy and Competition
  • Always read The Art Of War and other strategy classics many hours before entering any serious competition. Sometimes it puts the mind in a proper "competitor" perspective. We also recommend The Art of War [CD-ROM] from Denma's translation and Ralph D. Sawyer, as a very good substitute. Note: Ronnie Lott, former San Francisco Niners cornerback and a member of the Professional Football Hall of Fame, is noted for reading Sunzi's, the Art of War before a critical game. Pat Riley, Phil Jackson, and Bill Belichek are famous for quoting excerpts from Sunzi's, the Art of War to the news media.
  • Whenever one encounters overwhelming odds, some recommend the reading of Tao Te Ching, the Yi-Jing book (Oracle of Change) or the Spirit Tokens of the Ling Qi Jing. The reading might present the reader a different view of life.
  • Always show respect to your teammates and your future opposition
  • Always assess your competition and your grand settings before anything else
  • Be aware of the various faces of deception
  • Strategy professionals prefer to communicate in terms of mixing their metaphors between Weiqi (Go game), Daoism, The Art of War, The Seven Military Classics of Ancient China (History and Warfare)
  • While amateurs strategize from a two-dimensional view, the professionals strategize from a multi-dimensional perspective
  • By practicing the principles of The Seven Military Classics of Ancient China (History and Warfare)The Seven Military Classics of Ancient China and the Tao Te Ching, you will learn the meta-connection between the two subjects
  • The process of the strategy is always greater than the features of the technology
  • Display a state of calmness; never show a sense of stress and anxiety
  • During the winter season, you should take a "chaotic climate" weekend to re-read the various classics in a quiet setting. We also recommend the reading of the various translations of The Art of War and different strategic classics for the purpose of getting a different viewpoint. "Now if the estimates made in the temple before hostilities indicate a victory, it is because calculations show one's strength to be superior to that of his enemy; if they indicate defeat, it is because calculations show that one is inferior. With many calculations, one can win; with few one cannot. How much less chance of victory has one who makes none at all! By this means I examine the situation and the outcome will be clearly apparent." - The Art of War 1 (Seven Military Classics)
  • Reading the right strategy books once or twice a year is usually helpful for those who have gone through the proper training, practice and experience. It also allows the experienced strategists to compare and contrast whether their strategic actions are similar to the traditions of that of the ancient strategists.
  • Understand the importance of having a clean and quiet temple of the mind before beginning the process of assessing and planning.

Some of the grand tangible secrets in the strategy game are:
  • Practicing the best strategic practices; and
  • Having the conscious will to perform those practices consistently well.

No comments: