Lets begin this post with the question. It is an interesting question for those who are competitive. Now, click here for part one of the answer (This post offers the perspective from the Art of War). If it does not make sense, then click here for part two of the answer (This post offers another viewpoint from the game of Go (Weiqi).)
The Next to the Final Stage of the Answer
This is not a game theory situation, where there is a direct contest between two principals and everything is near-obvious. In a competitive situation where there are many involving strategic factors. Depending on the quality of information, the situation could be quite complex.
The clues to this approach can be found in the first two sections of Jiang Tai Gong (JTG's) Six Secret Teachings and chapter one of the Art of War.
Step One: Understand the scope of the situation.
By being two steps ahead of the game, the successful strategists can play the Jiang Tai Gong approach of pre-positioning and luring. You can find a good example in the 2010's Samurai movie classic "The 13 Assassins" where the protagonists knew the route, the strategic power and the tendencies of their target. Then, they altered their target's grand setting for the purpose of influencing him toward their lethal trap while transforming other portions of their own setting for the purpose of gaining a higher state of strategic power.
Unlike what the Cult of the Art of War tells their followers, one cannot learn this skill from reading the Art of War. It offers to the novices a mere glimmer of hope. As many of us know, that hope is not a strategy or a destination. Good strategic assessment begins by knowing the Big Tangible Picture of each principal in terms of their objectives, their approaches, the means and the modes. ... Understanding the complexity, the connectivity, the consistency and the continuity of a Big Tangible Picture are some of the key points to a good strategic assessment.
Those who are competitively ambitious, could build this exotic skill through the game of Go (weiqi) where misdirecting and luring are the norms. He or she might get lucky in understanding the mechanics of these grand concepts after playing a minimum of 10 thousand games.
So, how did we learned it? We spent time talking to the various no-name experts who indirectly revealed the clues to us. ... Humorously, those who know, don't really say. They only offered their hints to us through their actions.
If your in-house strategists do not possess this unique skill, they will fail you in a chaotic competitive situation.
Sun Bin was a student of Wang Xu. In his school, he and his classmates were first instructed to the concepts of Jiang Tai Gong's Six Secret Teachings . Sun Bin was later given a copy of Sunzi by his instructor. We wagered that he re-learned the approach of "baiting and luring" from reading chapter one and two of that essay and practiced it a few times before ever implementing it in a macro situation.