Monday, November 28, 2011

More Comments from Our Audience

“…I think your process is unique—it will be an advantage. Certainly no one else is approaching competitive analysis and project planning in the way that your group is presenting it…” – Confidential source

“Your group has built a unique and efficient strategic solution for complex situations.” – Anonymous

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Big Tangible Picture: The State of the Information Economy

In summary, some of these larger companies became fatter and complacent by centering their attention on efficiency and quality. When the timing is right, they acquired their innovative competitors with an optimal-exploitative approach.

In the era of the information economy, some of the younger companies are "aggressively" innovating. Some of these CEO's do not even cared about being absorbed by larger companies. They wanted to build something that would last a great deal of time.

These fat dinosaurs will disappear at some point of time. No dynasty lasts forever.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Connect the Dots and Reap the Rewards

Whenever there is a political-economic-social correction, one should expect the people on the top of the value chain to change their operational focus. On the long term, these type of jobs will continually be exported to offshore regions. The U.S. workers will be hurt. The effect will then trickle down through the social-economicl value chain. The history of the U.S. manufacturing economy tells us that the grand objective of achieving cost efficiency and operational effectiveness is the name of the game.

The way of the information economy is that the technology enables the various business organizations to create jobs at other locations. It also increases the productivity while decreasing certain low tier jobs that requires redundancy and massive paper work. It is only a matter of time, that the certain niches with the U.S. service industry will be reduced to a minimum.

In a virtual information economy, a macro correction in one region could later create another opportunity for another region. The "Yin and Yang effect" is what one would see if he or she pays attention to the Big Tangible Picture (BTP).

Connect the dots before the competition does and one will prevail.

[ Updated on 11.25.2011 ]

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Finding the Path of Least Resistance

Before coming to that conclusion, can you see the Big Tangible Picture of this situation? ...

Compass Rule
The level of complexity is sometimes proportional to the level of reward.

One former mentor used to remind us that one's choice of a strategic solution is usually based on their belief in getting things done and their strategic experience. It is also greatly determines one's view of life and their level of efficiency.

Friday, November 11, 2011

The Dao of Strategic Assessment #7: Assessing the AoW's Audience

“These are the ways that successful strategists are victorious. They cannot be spoken or transmitted in advance. ... Before the confrontation, they resolve in their conference room that that they will be victorious, have found that the majority of factors are in his favor. Before the confrontation they resolve in their conference room that they will not be victorious have found few factors are in their favor.

If those who find that the majority of factors favor them, will be victorious while those who have found few factors favor them will be defeated, what about someone who finds no factors in their favor?

When observing from this viewpoint, victory and defeat will be apparent.”

- Art of War 1 (Paraphrased from the Sawyer's translation)

Someone recently asked us the following five questions?
  • What are those factors that the ancient Chinese Generals used for strategic assessment?
  • Can you use those factors for modern business?
  • Why are those factors not taught out in the open?
  • What is the difference between assessing strategically and estimating?
  • Why is strategic assessment important to strategic planning?
  • Why do good plans fail?

We will reveal the answers in the future. However, you can ask your local Sunzi reader or expert and see if he/she knows the answers.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Questioning the Process Behind an Assessment

Below is an except from an interesting article from the Wall Street Journal The full article may be read here.

"Shortly after the end of the Cold War, an American defense official named Phillip Karber traveled to Russia as an advance man for a visit by former Secretary of Defense Frank Carlucci. "We were meeting with Russian generals," Mr. Karber recalls, "and we met a three-star who told us they had 40,000 warheads, not the 20,000 we thought they had." It was a stunning disclosure. At a time when legions of CIA analysts, Pentagon war-gamers and arms-control specialists devoted entire careers to estimating the size of the Soviet arsenal, the U.S. had missed the real figure by a factor of two. ..." WSJ 10.24.11

Whenever the expectations preclude the assessment, it is time to question the process that was being used.

Following is a listing of critical strategic factors of what an ideal strategic assessment process must emphasize on:
  • the macro and micro configuration of the grand setting and the many situations that lie within it;
  • the psychological configuration behind the chief decision markers and their various teams; and
  • the logistics behind the process.
Is your project team doing it? ...

    Wednesday, November 2, 2011

    Connect the Dots and Reap the Rewards

    Comprehending the tangible state of the information economy begins by understanding how things are connected.

    For today's challenge, connect the dots between Greece, Wall Street and Main Street.

    Basic Compass Schema
    • Identify the political-economic and social connections from Greece through Wall Street and then to Main Street
    • Determine their impact by recognizing the momentum and its connection to the Big Tangible Picture (BTP)
    • Examine the risk attributes. of the impact
    • Analyze the quality of the collected market intelligence
    • Lead with the decision.
    Compass Rule: When one connects the dots, he or she reaps the rewards.

    Tuesday, November 1, 2011

    The Reality of Playing the Strategy Game

    An associate (Mr. Dragon) who is a fan of the iptv technology, sent us this article that gave an interesting fact- 88% of all IPTV marketers don't have an strategy.

    After a moment of message swapping, we all concluded that operating without a strategy is a habit of many people. Some of these people are in love with the notion of doing stuff from the seat of their pants. They loved to be inspired and having the feeling of grinding, grounding and pounding their way through the numerous obstacles. Finding the path of least resistance is not in their agenda. {There is a grand exception to this idealistic setting. Do you know what it is? ...}

    In some cases, they over-exceed the expected timeline and the budget. Do you think that is the best way to succeed in one's goal?

    A few years ago, we performed an inpromptu survey on how many organizations were operating without a real tangible strategic plan. Without getting into the deep specifics, the count was over 50%.

    In most cases, some of these companies were operating on a quarterly basis. The life cycle of their projects usually averaged about three months. Most of their chief decision makers never took the time to think past the three to six months timeline. Their quarterly strategic plans resembled to the particulars of a "Things to Do" list.

    Due to the current political-economic uncertainty, this tradition of "playing the quarterly game without a long term strategy" will still continue.

    Our immediate solution for this type of short term strategic activity is the Compass script.

    Failure to Plan is to Plan to Failure
    Those who possessed the strong "political, economic and social" influences, are usually able to endure the err of not building a good long term strategy. It is one of the few exceptions to the "Failure to Plan is to Plan to Failure" rule.

    Side Notes
    In our strategy book project, we have modernized our listing of strategic and tactical principles. It is based on the Art of War (AoW) and the other components from the Seven Military Classics of Ancient China (Seven Strategy Classics). We are still debating on including a list of exceptions where certain tactical principles should not be in play regarding to specific situations.

    Ask your local Sunzi reader/expert if he or she knows the exceptions to certain principles from the Art of War and other Chinese strategy classics.

    Our current set of priorities does not include the publishing of this book for the next three to six months. We are currently too involved with our macro objectives.