Saturday, January 21, 2012

The Dao of Executing an Unorthodox (Surprise) Play (3)

Notes from the Compass Desk
The professionals always surprised their targets
while the amateurs tricked their victims....
Tricks are for kids. - A Nameless Strategist

The objective of a surprise play is to influence the competitor to focus on an irrelevant terrain (situation) while implementing one's intent toward an relevant terrain unexpectedly.

Knowing their tendencies is essential. The next step is to create the proper illusion that baits and lures them into the wrong terrain. Idealistically, the final step is to implement the technical mismatches while attacking the non-obvious gap within the terrain. ... You can find more examples about this stratagem in any essays relating to the 36 Stratagems.

Depending on the situation, a surprise play could be consisted of many levels of steps (minutes, details, and ultra specifics). Many pseudo experts usually do not like to involve themselves in the planning stage of a uncertain situation.

The counter to any surprise play is to have quality manpower who could adjust their Big Tangible Picture (from the field level) and implement their operational tactics on the fly.

Side note: Click here for a previous post on strategizing in a near-predictable setting.

Final Thoughts
In any venture, the possibility of high reward usually means high risk. To compete in this unique economy, one has to be able to make that challenging decision to pursue that risk. It begins by having a Big Tangible Picture and being able to assess it properly. One cannot just plan without knowing their settings. (We see this behavior repeatedly. Willing and implementing a poorly-developed plan will have negative consequences.) ... While one is thinking of a surprise attack, what are the chances of their competition is thinking of the same option?

Understanding the true settings of their competition is necessary especially when one wants to prevent an unethical surprise assault. It is one of those keys that one needs to identify before finding the path of least resistance in the business world. There is no tangible reward for preventing that action. But it does reduce the stress of fixing the on-coming problem.

... Understanding the element of surprise (bilaterally) is one of the many keys to mastering the art and science of creating strategic power.

We will touch on the topic of 36 Stratagems in our future posts.

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