Monday, February 28, 2011

The Next Big Thing: IPTV

We previously discussed the marketing popularity of iptv.

Clickable ads on the iptv platform is another reason why the user audience for the cable TV is shrinking.

Our book project has a case study that delineates the configuration and the competitiveness portion of the IPTV marketplace.

You can read more about IPTV at .

Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Challenge of Assessing Strategically


How do people usually assess the "Big Tangible Picture?" The majority either assess it by observation or by concepts and principles. The rest prefer to assess by data. In our future book, we will cover the topic of assessing by data.

Do you ever think that the majority ever assess the "Big Tangible Picture" in terms of risk, uncertainty and volatility?

How the Compass Assessment Process Works

You don't know what you don't know
You can't do what you don't know
You don't know until you measure
You don't measure what you don't value
You don't value what you don't measure
- Six Sigma

We begin the strategic assessment session by asking some of the following questions:
  • What is your conceptualization of the "Big Tangible Picture?"
  • How do you usually assess the "Big Tangible Picture?"
  • Do you start by understanding your end in mind?
  • Do you know what your values are?
  • Do you know how to measure your values?
  • Do you ever think what is your main competition up to?
  • In competitive situation, do you think you can transform your assessed data into a strategic power?

The quality of strategic assessment is totally irrelevant if the principal can't decide properly and promptly. We will talk more about strategic decision making in a later post.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Assess, Position and Influence (3)

Do you ever ask yourself, the following questions:
  • What does it takes to thrive in the global economy?
  • Do you ever spend your time assessing the big tangible picture before planning your strategy? How can you plan anything tangible, especially if you do not know what is the intent of your endpoint and what are the specifics within your competing terrain?
  • When looking at the big tangible picture, what do you focus on ?
  • How many variables do you focus on?
  • What set of patterns do you target on?
There are so many questions to ask. Yet, there is so little time for you to make a sound and solid decision. A misunderstanding of the big picture can cost you time, money and effort. Can you afford it?

To thrive in this economy, you must be able to assess the big picture. Position yourself of strength. Influence it while completing your objective. Are you doing it?

In a future post, we will identify the critical strategic indicators and discuss how to utilize it in your projects.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Compass View on the Super Bowl Game

We forgot to post this item about two weeks ago. I presumed that some of our readers saw the Super Bowl game.
Following is our analysis of the three key strategic factors that enabled the Green Bay Packers to defeat the Pittsburgh Steelers:

Factor #1 : The Injury Factor Determines the Strategic Advantage
Green Bay Packers knew that the Steelers running game could be easily neutralized when it was announced that the offensive line of the Pittsburgh Steelers lost their starting center a few days before the game.

Usually most second string replacements do not possessed the real game experience. This usually causes minor timing challenges for the running game. Also, the Steelers quarterback had a mobility problem. This was due to a cast in his right foot. Since most games are usually won in the trenches, we believed that the Packers would dominate the line of scrimmage.

Green Bay Packers lost a few of their starters during the game. However, their bench continued the momentum of playing a sound and solid football.

Factor #2: Injuries limits the quantity of quality decisions and execution.
The lack of depth usually changes the technical schema of game plan and sometimes the timing of execution on certain plays. The Steelers running game was no longer a threat. During the one week break before the game, Green Bay's scouting and their defensive team watched enough film and studied the statistics to understand the offensive tendencies of the Steelers. Roethlisberger's decision habits and execution became predictable to the Green Bay defense.

Conclusively, the extensiveness of the injuries usually limits the decision habits of the play callers and the execution of the players. Green Bay was quite lucky that they had more quality depth to counter their injury problems.

Interestingly, both defensive coaches of each team worked together and knew each other decision habits.
Factor #3: Knowing the Big Tangible Picture
It begins by knowing the state of the terrain and the current performance state of the competitors. Learning their tendencies by using specific statistics and watching game videos, this step sometimes determines the outcome of the competition

Minimum Injury Advantage: Green Bay

Experienced Depth Advantage: Green Bay

Home Territory Advantage: None.
For the Super Bowl, there is no home territory advantage for either side.

By understanding factor #1 and factor #2, the Green Bay Packers were able to transformed the Steelers disadvantages into their strategic advantage. They scored first and then maintained the lead. Pittsburgh fell behind and never caught up. Regardless of the injuries, Green Bay also had the advantage of experienced depth and good contingency strategies,

Click on this link for an interesting graphic on the game,

Final Outcome
The Packers prevailed because of the above-mentioned factors and many other tangible reasons.

The Vegas sport books barely scored profit. For a micro moment, economic equity almost became real.

Post Game Review
After the game, both organizations realized that their team needed to improve. Green Bay has already begun the process of improving their team performance. In the case of the Steelers, the management team realized that they needed to strengthen their receivers corps.

Retrospectively, NY Times did a very good job in reporting the game.

Creating and Maintaining Strategic Power (Strategic Advantage)
"Thus those who excel at warfare seek victory through the strategic configuration of power, not from reliance on men. Thus they are able to select men and employ strategic power."
- Art of War 5
The Compass Rule of Being Compass Smart
One should always be strategically prepared for all situations. It all begins by understanding the Big Tangible Picture. The Compass Strategist would rather have extra plays (and/or additional assets) for the strategic situation and not need it, than to need it and not have it available.

The feeling of being strategically prepared usually makes one feels Compass Smart.

Final Words
By understanding the scope of the Big Tangible Picture, the successful strategist usually decides correctly. Knowing the reasons behind the actual outcome gives him or her a better overview of the reality behind the actual outcome.

The rule of our information economy is that our results-driven public demand
the latest positive outcome of any upper class performer.

Friday, February 18, 2011

More notes on Ancient Chinese Warfare (ACW)

If you are interested in understanding the foundation of the Chinese strategic culture, we recommended Dr. Ralph D. Sawyer latest book, Ancient Chinese Warfare. It will be in your local book store or at your favorite e-commerce site on the 1st of March 2011.

You can also pre-order this book from Amazon.

Following is an editorial review from Publishers Weekly:

Sawyer, a leading scholar of Chinese warfare and fellow at the Centre for Military and Strategic Studies, is best known for his comprehensively edited translations of classical military writings. His latest analytical work is no less significant. It begins in the prehistoric period and continues through the fifth century B.C.E., an era traditionally described as one of stability, almost idyllic compared to the two-century warring states period that followed. Sawyer instead demonstrates through archeological evidence, traditional accounts, and convincing interpretations of inscriptions that conflict in China became increasingly complex, lethal, and decisive during the Hsia and Shang dynasties. Armies became structured forces with bureaucratized logistics. Warrior values were integrated into mainstream cultures. Sawyer's analysis ranges from the evolution of fortification, through the metallurgical innovations behind improved weapons, to the technologies and animal husbandry that enabled the chariots that became ancient China's signature. Warfare, says Sawyer, stimulated innovation, social change, and material progress. It also destroyed the peace and security of communities, then peoples, absorbed into ever-larger political systems sustained by force. Ancient China, shaped by its wars, was firmly set on "a trajectory of state building and aggressive activity." Illus. (Mar.)

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Following is the table of contents from this book:

1 Preliminary Orientations and Legendary Conflicts
2 Ancient Fortifications, I
3 Ancient Fortifications, II
4 The Hsia
5 Warfare in the Hsia
6 The Shang Dynasty
7 Shang Capitals, Citadels, and Fortifications
8 Chaos, Contraction, and Resurgence
9 King Wu Ting, I
10 King Wu Ting, II
11 The Last Reigns
12 The Shang Martial Edifice
13 Troops, Intelligence, and Tactics
14 Metallurgical Evolution in China
15 Early Weapons and the Axe
16 Knives, Daggers, and Swords
17 The Ko or Dagger-axe
18 Spears and Armor
19 Ancient Archery
20 The Chariot in China
21 The Horse in China

You can read more information about this book by clicking here.

Some of our associates get some of their unique "strategic and tactical" ideas from reading many of Sawyer's classics. If you are a "strategy and tactics" aficionado, we highly recommend all of his books.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Compass Trend (3): Automated Service Centers

This past Monday, IBM supercomputer system competed in a popular answer-and-question quiz show. Watson was the computer's name. Memorizing data and articulating in English is his game.

It was a great feat of brainpower. After a few moments of admiring the amazing functionality of Watson, we began to assess how it can be apply to our service economy.

Since Watson was able to handle a slew of game show's questions with ease, we concluded that Watson is technologically efficient and that it can be configured to manage the questions of the customers of companies that have various customer service centers, help desks, phone banks, fast food eateries, etc. (updated on 02.17.11)

Many months ago, we heard about the changing state of the fast food industry. We believed that a good percentage of the fast food industry will be automated in the urban areas. The projected timeline is somewhere between two to three years.

You can read more about Watson (or similar computer systems) from today's New York Times.

The Compass View
Overall, Watson is going to make millions of off-shore workers unemployed. One can only expect that these off-shored workers will join the current group of unemployed Americans.

Since commodity prices, medical costs and state employers taxes are rising, we
expected that the captains of our global service economy will be purchasing the IBM's Watson computer system as their service center's system.

For every technological breakthrough In our information economy, new and improved automated services have always been a positive gain for the implementers. Just think about the number of banking jobs that were lost to the ATMs.

While operating costs shrinks, the risk of occasional social drawback and an economic consequence for the lower tier of the job market becomes obvious.

Countering the Unforeseen Technological Breakthrough
in the Informational Economy

It is important to know one's strategic position within their competitive (market) terrain and then look beyond.

Securing relevant data consistently is important.

In an information economy, the effect of the zero-sum gain becomes a significant factor to both the chief decision makers and the lower tier workers. The quality of positive impact (reward) goes to the chief decision makers who utilized the new and improved automated services is inversely proportionally to the quality of the negative impact that affects the obsolete workers.

Staying Ahead of the Curve
Spending time to understand the big tangible picture will enable the chief decision makers to stay ahead of the "automated services" curve. The key is to recognize the benefits, the challenges and the drawbacks of the various on-coming influences.

The Compass Rule For Viewing the Big Tangible Picture
Study the Big Tangible Picture. Define the Dots (opportunity, etc.). Connect the dots. Reap the rewards.

The challenge is to define the dots and connecting them within the timeline of the opportunity.

Are you doing it?

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Assessing, Positioning and Deciding

Compass Rule: Know the compass of your objective and your settings.

"Competition is the greatest affair of the global economy, the basis of success and failure; it is the Dao (the Way) of survival or destruction. It must be thoroughly examined and analyzed. ... Competition is the Dao of deception. ... " Art of War Chapter 1

Click on this link for an interesting article on poor assessment

People are sold on the message that the economic system is predictable. The amateurs advised the masses to focus on the economic basics and everything will be fine.

Immediate need and short- term greed of human nature are the reasons why unpredictability becomes the norm.

Some people are swindled because of their lack of effort to assess their objective strategically. Their perception of reality usually tells them that things are ok, without ever comprehending the technicalities of the situation.

Sometimes, there are some people who find the task of going through a checklist to be too belittling for them. They just want the immediate gratification of putting a macro "X" on their task list. (That is a different topic.)

The consequences for a poor understanding of the big picture can be quite upsetting.

1. There is no such thing as a free lunch,
2. Trust but verify and validate. One should always perform their own due diligence.

To prevent deception, one needs to assess the big tangible picture in terms of their current settings and the future settings. Then, be able to follow-through on specifics.

We hope that the Sullenberger family are able to resolve their current problem with minimum difficulty.

You can read another example of data deception at

Through the use of our Compass A/E Process, one learns the following:
  • Assessing the Big Tangible Picture;
  • Positioning oneself through planning and preparation; and
  • Influencing the settings through one's current strategic position.
Assessing the big tangible picture in terms of reality and illusions, one begins to understand the relevant positions that influence their strategic settings,

In conclusion, he or she will be ahead of the curve.

If you need insights on how to assess your big picture, please contact us.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Compass Prognostication

Defining Strategic Power
Strategic Power (Shi) is an advantageous circumstance that an AoW strategist uses against their opposition. It begins by knowing the opposition in terms of their strategic foundation.

Applying the Process to the Super Bowl: Understanding the Tactical Imbalance of Strategic Power (Quan)

Step 1: Know the injury factor
The objective of each football strategist is to know who is injured (on both sides) and what is the quality of each injury. The quantity of injuries occasionally determines the quality and quantity of the strategic options and tactical choices.

The latest update relating to Super Bowl Final Injury Report & Game Status can be found here.

Step 2: Know the decision habits of the play callers and players
By viewing the game films and studying the relevant statistics, the strategist learns the tendencies of the opposing play caller and the positional players in terms of various decision making scenarios (strategic situations, various tactical situations, adjustments etc.) ...

It is going to be interesting especially when the defensive coordinator of each team knows the decision tendencies of the other. Here is a NYT story about it. We wondered if there is a possibility of a low scoring game. .

Step 3: Know the state of the terrain and the performance state of your competitor at the day of the competition

The game is being played in a dome stadium with a retractable roof,

As of this past Sat. 22:30 hr (est), the weather in Dallas was quite cold. Luckily the game is being played in a climate controlled terrain.

By combining specific data from each step, one begins to understand the strategic power of each competitor.

Ruminations from the Compass Desk
Within a predictable setting, the successful strategist usually focuses on the deployment of formations and the relative strength of each competitor in each tactical situation. He comprehends on what situation favors what set of players.

While studying game films, he looks for situations where there are situation formation weaknesses, technical mismatches and positional mismatches. Then he stages the gameplan. This is how the "real" professionals play the strategy game.

The Compass Rule of Strategic Planning (Game Planning):
The amount of time that it takes to deploy a strategic plan is inversely proportional to the amount of quality time that one properly spent assessing the big picture and planning your strategic plan.

The successful and experienced strategist usually spent a great deal of time- assessing and positioning, preparing for various opportunities. When those opportunities arrive, the team is collectively prepared to implement those strategic plays that enable them to prevail. Sometimes, it is 10 hrs of sound and solid planning and preparation for that one ten second period of positive execution.

However, we will cover more on the specifics behind this rule in a future post

The Compass Rule #1 for Strategic Decision Making:
Understanding the big tangible picture before making a strategic move.
By following this rule, one is able to filter the reality and the illusions of the competition and the terrain. The intent is to exploit the weaknesses and the strengths of the overall situation.

Most of the Steelers offense is based on their running game. If the running game is neutralized, the rest of the offense will fail. I believed the loss of the starting center might hurt their running game. If the backup player cannot achieve the performing standard of the center, I expected the running game of the Steelers to be neutralized.

Possible Scenario
If the Steelers are behind in the game and if their offense is forced to pass on 3rd and long situation, I expected the Packers pass rush to neutralize their passing attack.

Based on the statistics from both sides and the current momentum, I expected the passing game of the Packers to find gaps within the Steelers defense.

Previous Super Bowl experience is irrelevant . The non-starters of the Green Bay Packers possess more game experience than the Steelers.

Who do we like? I do not know what the rest of my other Compass360 Consulting colleagues are doing. If I was betting on the game, I would prefer the choice of the "over" and I like the color combination of green and gold.

Regardless of the many prognostications, the game is won on the field.

# Update 02.06.11
As of 22:09 hrs est, the final score of the game was Green Packers 31 Steelers 25. The actual total score of the game went over the projected total score (45.5 to 46).

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Happy Year of the Hare!