Saturday, October 27, 2012

World Series Analysis (Part 2: The Next Three Games)

Miscellaneous Trivia
One extra week of rest can un-synchronize a player.  An "out of sync" catalyst usually causes the obvious outcome.

The San Francisco Giants won the second game with small ball.  By grinding it out inning by inning. the Black and Orange offense prevailed at the latter stage of the game through their mastery of the fundamentals and some luck.

For the next three games, they are playing the Tigers in Detroit.


History and odds are against the Tigers.   By focusing on one game at a time and playing on their strengths,  they have an even chance to win.  Past history and probability do not win games where time is not a factor.
  • The Tigers home record and the Giants away record are mildly relevant to this game.  In a American League park, we expected the Tigers to have the hitting advantage with their DH.  (It is a moderately large ballpark.) They know the quirks within their home park and usually score through the long ball.  The Tigers have good base runners.
  • We also expected the game temperature to be cold.  It should not be a factor against the SF Giants.  They are quite used to the cool climate from playing at the ATT park.  Cold weather can be a wild card for those who are not prepared.
  • The direction and the velocity of the wind will affect the possibility of the long ball.  (It  could be the wild card that favors the Tigers.)
  • To disrupt the spirit of the Tigers and their fans, the SF Giants must score first and fast.  Once the lead is obtained, the Giants bullpen takes over.  In most cases, the majority of the Tigers fans will be psychologically pressured to surrender to the inevitable.  Only, the extreme fanatics will cheer on their team, many hours after the game is over. 
  • If the last innings of the game is tight, one could expect that Bochy implements the "bullpen by committee" option.  The Tigers have a weak bullpen.  The SF Giants will have the advantage. (In this situation,  the manager's strategic view of playing the "matchup" game becomes more relevant.) 
  • Click here for an expert view on tonight's game . 
  • We expected the Tigers to win at least one of the three home games.  If not, Detroit will be freezing until next spring.
  • Suggestion: Wear your orange t-shirt
The Secret of the Successful Strategist
The SF Giants Manager Bruce Bochy finds his opportunity by focusing his time on the proclivity of the opposing players. He creates a situation where the mismatch favors the strengths of his players while exposing the weaknesses of the competition. This is what strategic efficiency is about  ... Sometimes, a little luck  never hurts.

The Final Points

  • Hitting the long ball always thrills the amateur fans.  But it does not always guarantee a winning game.  
  • A balance of "Small Ball" offense (a momentum of singles, extra-base hits and base stealing) pitching and defense usually plays a factor regardless of the weather.  It never goes out of style. 
  • If the scoring of the game goes high, the observers should expect the SF Giants to use their bullpen.
  • Displayed tactical mismatches on the computer monitor do not win games. Proper execution on the game field is what count.  Games are always won on the field. 
  • Those who are strategically prepared, will be the victor 
If you are interested in learning about the art of profiling a competitor's tendencies, check out Dr. Sawyer's latest book.   It is an interesting read.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

World Series Analysis (For the First Two Games)

Without going into the specifics of various game performance statistics, this is our fundamental analysis of the World Series

The Advantages for the San Francisco Giants (SFG) 
  • Momentum-based Offense (Hit and Run, Run and Hit, surprising base stealing, etc.) .
  • Bullpen Pitching 
  • Superior Defense.
  • Game Tactics.
The Advantages for the Detroit Tigers
  • Home runs prowess
  • Superior Starting Pitchers
An Abridged Listing of Situational Factors 
  • The SFG's home field was designed for pitching and defense. Their outfielders have the experience of the "triple" alley in the central field and playing with the wind, especially in the right field,
  • To prevail in a wind-based grass terrain, well-timed hitting and speed prevails.  A momentum of singles and extra-base hits causes the big, slow and fat players to move.
  • If there is no rain or strong wind, the Tigers home run power could become a grand factor.
  • If the Detroit Tigers cannot play sound and solid defense within this terrain, one could only expect the SF Giants to gain the offensive advantage with their momentum-driven offense (small ball). 
  • Having this unique home turf advantage for the first two games could be a prevailing factor for the SF Giants.   
  • If the weather is not a factor, the Tigers do score first and fast and their starters play the minimum of seven innings,  the odds of winning increases.
  • Whether the weather is relevant, the score of the game is close and the SF Giants is able to influence the pitchers to throw as many pitches as possible.  The Tigers will be forced to use their weak bullpen by the fifth and sixth innings.  The Giants could triumph.
  • In a National League park, the SF Giants pitchers are used to hitting the ball.
  • Due to the depth of their bullpen, the extra-innings game situation factor goes to the San Francisco Giants.
  • The team who gets the two to three runs lead, could be the victor. 
  • Click here for one's view on how to attack the Tigers starting pitcher for game 1.
Next to The Final Thoughts
Baseball is a semi-predictable game where the time span is not a factor and near-transparency is in the statistics. Analyzing the data in terms of situational performance metrics is the key.  

In sports, offense thrills.  But defense wins championships. 

With an abundance of data, the smart strategist capitalizes on the tactical tendencies of each opposing player, with a quiet sense of focused urgency.  He Influences them to be tactically uncomfortable through the various means. This is the tactical approach to implementing one's strategic power onto one's competition.

... Strategies do not win games. Choosing the right tactics and properly executing them, are some of the keys to winning. 

... While the amateurs are usually focused on the big play offense, the professionals emphasized on the importance of sound and solid defense while creating offensive momentum through the execution of well-timed hits. 

It begins by assessing the Big Tangible Picture.  ... You do know how to assess strategically. Do you?  .. Those who are psychic, should be able to see three to five days ahead.  We do not think anyone of us are psychic. 

Strategic Assessment
Knowing the myriad of possible situations do matter.  It offers the successful strategist the vantage of thinking  ahead. Through the subtle execution of situational mismatches, one gains the advantage of subjugating the means and the modes of a competitor.  

The Dao of Strategic Efficiency.
Through our understanding of the Seven Strategic Classics and other exclusive essays, we  practiced the process of securing the tangible truth. By comparing the advantageous and the disadvantageous points of the conflicting sides, we usually pinpoint a "profiting" situation that takes the least amount of risk and/or the minimum effort.  This is the projected outcome from the implementation of strategic efficiency.

Final Score  (updated at 8:48 pm. Re-updated at 11:54 pm.)
Game 1: SF Giants 8  Detroit Tigers 3
Click here for the box score. Click here for a NYT's view of the game.
After the 3rd inning, the Tigers starting pitcher has already thrown 70+ pitches. After four innings, he threw a total of 98 pitches and surrendered five runs. The bullpen gave up another three runs. 

An irrelevant stat: The team that wins the 1st game, wins the World Series 62% of the time.

Side note: Sport is just an extension of life where the fantasy of each and every fan's differs.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Miscellaneous Thoughts

Using Technology as the Kitchen Sink Solution
It should be obvious to most people that the scope of a specific technology can only go so far. ... Each and every situation could be slightly different. Therefore, the settings of the technology can not always give the immediate answer.  In some cases, there is no "automatic kitchen sink" answer. It is up to the strategist to have that unique skill to read the situation and determine whether adjustment to his/her initial strategies and tactics are needed. ... 

Understanding the specifics of the situation do matter.

The Importance of Having a Strategic Process
Good principles usually represent the Big Picture.  Fitting the principles into a process is a challenge.  (Ask the Cult of the Art of War if they know how to do that.)

Having a finely-honed strategic process model enables one to read the situation and adjust to each and every relevant situation that he/she could encounter while being mindful of the Big Tangible Picture. Having the process to organize the information is important.  

Process Over Principles
Remember that principles can only go so far.  A well-scaled principles-driven process that enables one to evolve is greater than a list of obvious principles.

The Question of the Day
So what is your everyday process?  ... 

Try our process of Assessing, Positioning and Influencing through scripting. It is that simple.  

Side note
Having the right strategic approach is one part of the puzzle of solving a problem.  Another part is possessing certain social skills. It allows the strategist to connect to their team or their competition. 

In summary, read your strategic situation carefully before deciding on your grand objective and your approach. The external influences of your situation and your grand objective will occasionally influence you to adjust your process model of means and modes. 

It is important to question those who espoused this view of "the automatic kitchen sink answer."

Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Answer (2)

More Specifics to The Answer

What is the Way of Aggressive Competition?
"The offensive disposition of any relevant competitor should change in accord with the movements of their opposition. And changes coming from the confrontation between the two parties. Unorthodox and orthodox tactics are produced from inexhaustible resources of the mind. Thus the greatest affairs are not discussed, and the employment of manpower is not spoken about. Moreover, words which discuss ultimate affairs are not not to be discussed openly. The employment of manpower is not so definitive as to be visible. They go suddenly, they come suddenly. Only when someone who can exercise sole control over the team, without being governed by other men, is a strategic weapon."

"If your plans are heard about, the competition will implement counter strategies. If you are perceived, they will plot against you. If your objectives are known, they will put you in difficulty. If you are fathomed, they will endanger you."

"Thus one who excels in competition has already won before the deployment of manpower. One who excels at eliminating the misfortunes of the people manages them before they appear. Conquering the competition, being victorious by being formless. The superior competitor has won before engaging in contest. Thus one who fights and attains victory in using extreme measures is not a good strategist. One who makes preparation after the contest is started, has been lost is not a superior sage. One whose skill is the same as the masses is not a superior artisan."

"In unique competitive matters, nothing is more important than certain victory. In employing one's manpower, nothing is more important than obscurity and silence. In movement, nothing is more important than the unexpected. In planning, nothing is more important than not being knowable. To be the first to gain victory, initially display some weakness to the enemy and only afterward do battle. Then your effort will be half, but the achievement will be doubled."

"The Sage observes signs from the movements of Heaven and Earth and knows its principles. He observes the movement of the sun and the moon and understand their seasonal activity. He follows the cycles of day and night, taken them as his constant. All things have life and death in accord with the principles of Heaven and Earth. Thus it is said that if one fights before understanding the situation, even if he is more numerous, he will certainly be defeated."

# The following paragraph delineates the reasoning behind the "half step ahead of the competition" approach

"One who excels at competition will await events in the situation without making any movement. When he sees he can be victorious, he will arise; if he sees he cannot be victorious, he will desist. Thus it is said that he does not have any fear, he does not vacillate. Of the many harms that can beset an organization, indecision is the greatest. Of disasters that can befall an organization, none surpasses doubt."

"One who excels in competition will not lose an advantage when he perceives it or be doubtful when he meets the opportunity. One who loses an advantage or lags behind the time for action will, on the contrary, suffer from disaster. Thus the wise follow the time and do not lose an advantage; the skillful are decisive and have no doubts. He strikes like a sudden clap of thunder, which does not give time to cover ears; strike like a flash of lightning, which does not give time to close the eyes. Advance as is suddenly startled; employ your team as if deranged. Those who oppose you will be destroyed; those who come near will perish. Who can defend against such an attack?"

"Now when matters are not discussed and general preserves their secrecy, he is superior. When things are not manifest but he discerns them, he is wise. Thus if superior and wise, no enemies will act against him in the field, nor will any state stand against him."  
Tai Gong  ( Paraphrased from The Six Secret Teachings, 26)

The Question of the Day
Why is Jiang Tai Gong's Six Secret Teachings important to the hardcore strategists?

The Answer (partial)

" ... Although the Art of War remains the only book known in the West, the Wu-tzu and Six Secret Teachings proved to be highly important sources for military wisdom over the centuries, and the latter continues to be held in higher esteem among contemporary PRC military professionals. .."  -  Ralph Sawyer

If the PRC military professionals are reading it, why are you not reading it?

The strategists who understand this book (and the seven other classics), know what dots to connect and how to connect them.  

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Extreme Competitiveness in the Global Economy

In our efficient economy, competitive strategizing does not begin by managing numbers through a spreadsheet. ... Static or semi-active defense through cyber tactics doesn't mean that it is a do-able solution.

It is a matter of time where a few corporations will be caught, using the extreme means of cyber penetration.   In 1990's, there were rumors of this type of ruthlessness.  So, what are the odds that this competitive approach will be incrementally used in our global economy?

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Answer (1)

Q: So, do you know what specifics constitute one competitor to be one or two moves ahead or behind their competition?

A: The answer is in the Sunzi's  Art of War
" ... If I know my team can attack, but do not know the competition cannot be attacked, it is only halfway to victory. If I know the competition can be attacked, but do not realize our team cannot attack, it is only halfway to victory. Knowing that the competition can be attacked, and knowing that our army can attack, but not knowing the terrain is not suitable for combat, is only halfway to victory. Thus one who truly knows the army will never be deluded when he moves, never be impoverished when initiating an action.

Thus it is said if you know them and know yourself, your victory will not be imperiled. If you know Heaven and Earth, your victory can be complete. ... " 
- Paraphrased from Sun Tzu's Art of War 10 (Sawyer's translation)

This is one's approach for staying one to two steps ahead of the competition. 

Compass Rule
If you are able to anticipate two steps ahead of your customers and/or your competition, implement a move that offers a half step advantage.

New Question:
Why would any successful strategist make a strategic move that offers the advantage of being an half step ahead?  

Ask your local Art of War (AoW) strategy expert if he or she knows the answer.  If you look at your copy of the Seven Strategy Classics and the other arcane classics, you might get the right answer. 

Monday, October 8, 2012

The Question of the Day

Before contemplating on the next strategic move, the successful strategist always asks himself, "Am I one or two move ahead or behind my competition?"

Q: Do you know what strategic principle would allow a competitor to be one or two moves ahead or behind their competition?

Friday, October 5, 2012

More Tools for the Mobile Strategist

Some of us have used Evernote to collect various dots of notes since 2008.  As a note-collection organizer, this program is technically superior to the practice of dumping everything into a MS Word document or a text file.

The learning curve is less than five minutes.   It is available for Win, Macs and other mobile devices.  

Free e-book
Click here for a free user e-book (5.9 MB). It is available as a pdf format, iPAD, nook, etc. Use the password makeuseof

Side Note  
Compass360 Consulting Group was not compensated  for endorsing this tool.


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Competing in the Information Economy: The Role of #3

"I am #3.  I don't try hard at all. ..."  - The Nameless Strategist

In the information economy, the seat holders of the #1 and #2 position are always in flux. Both of them are always stressed.  The number three seat holder  is just focused on achieving quality while maintaining an above average lifestyle.

The Compass View 
Every personality is different. In terms of achieving professional status,  there is no absolute rule for everyone. However, we believed that it is better to compete with diligent and intensity instead of regretting it. 

The goal of number three is to becomes the ultra class expert who can quietly advise while performing like the number one seat holder.    ...  There is no long-term future for those who are too caught on the action of the game.  

What is the exception to this rule?  Do you know what it is?

Monday, October 1, 2012

The Dao of Strategic Assessment

This is what happens when you have amateurs who practiced the "one input = one output" type of analysis

Good strategic analysis is about understanding the specifics behind the inputs.  ... The scary part is that there are some senior executives and  some senior project managers who do not believe in detailed-based situational analysis.  ... By practice,  their main concern is the result, not on situations and specifics.

Be aware of the aim of your strategic assessment approach. You must also ensure that your data is sound and solid.