Saturday, August 31, 2013

Profiting in the Gambling Economy: Do You Have The Skill to Play Poker??

Here is an interesting article on one's view of poker.

# Casino Mogul's Comment Should Infuriate Every Serious Poker Player
JOE WEISENTHAL JUN. 20, 2013, 4:05 PM 1,659 4
Sheldon Adelson was on BloombergTV earlier, arguing against the legalization of online gambling.

As the CEO of Las Vegas Sands, a big physical casino company, his opposition to online gambling is understandable, except... he says it's not about the money or the business. Instead he says, it's all about how online gambling is bad for society, since gamblers can get so hooked.

During the interview he also made a comment that should infuriate poker players.  He says there should be no special exemption for online poker, since it's a game of luck, not skill.

Here are his exact words:
On not making an exception for the skills based Poker:

“That skill base is, in my opinion, just a bunch of baloney. To get a card is not skill base. I know people say it is skill based, but it’s just so they can categorize it in a certain segment.”

On making an exception for online poker:

“Absolutely not. Look, I’m a father, grandfather. I do not want my children – I’m a veteran of the Korean War. I do not want my children to have the opportunity to become addicted to gaming. And poker, in my opinion, would become one of the most addictive games. People do not get addicted to necessarily playing blackjack. They get addicted for the game. It is one of the many compulsive behaviors and somebody is addicted to gaming, they are addicted to some other compulsive behaviors. Can you tell me one good reason why internet gaming should be allowed.”

That poker is a game of skill, not luck, is an article of faith among avid poker players.

Sure, you can have a bad beat here or there, or maybe someone flops a set of aces to beat your set of kings, but the idea is that that's just noise, and that because poker is a game of skill over time the better player will win out.

Anyway, because poker pros argue that it's a game of skill, they think that even if online gambling remains broadly illegal, that online poker should perhaps still be eligible to be played online. And so for Adelson, it's important to slam poker to make his broader anti-online gambling argument.


The Skill
"I found out the way your mind works and the kind of man you are. I know your plans and expectations - you've burbled every bit of strategy you've got. I know exactly what you will do, and exactly what you won't, and I've told you exactly nothing. To these aged eyes, boy, that's what winning looks like!  ..." - Henry II   [ The Lion in the Winter  ]

To properly compete in this venue or any aspect of the information economy, reading and understanding the behavior of people is considered to be an unique skill.  In most instances, one does not learn it from reading a book.  

Reading a manual repeatedly, does not always mean that the reader will master the principles and the protocols  

In a situation of randomness, the successful strategists play the players not the cards.  They quietly focuses on the body language of each player by identifying the various tells from each players.

During gametime, the practice of reading the actions of their counterparts while playing the cards, is the standard play.  Plausible deniability of that practice is also the norm for some players.  ...  Those who know, will not say. Successful strategists have always play that game quite well. ...

The Practice

Strategy requires thought.  
Tactics requires observation. - Max Euwe

Studying the variations and patterns quietly and determine what is the truth.

Clue: Stay centered and pay attention to the breathing, the balance and the rhythm of their actions.

Be aware that there will be various acts of deception from the advanced players. They will stage the novice players by by shaping their perspective.

Read this post if you want to build that mindful awareness skill.  Getting these skills from a book will not help most of our readers. Those who possessed the high mindful awareness skill, will know what attributes are influencing around their settings, will succeed.  ...  You can find more information on this unique topic by visiting Cook Ding's Kitchen.

Another tip that will benefit you is to script a gameplan before the game begin.  

The height of any reward is usually proportional to the height of planning. The reasoning behind that point should be obvious.  ... If not, we will explain it in a future post.

Comments From The Compass Desk
There is a balance of chance and skill in the game of poker . While the distributing of cards determines the chance factor, the skill is in the process of assessing, positioning and influencing.

This unqiue skill is based on these three steps:
  • Assessing of the competition and oneself before making the proper decision. 
  • Positioning oneself toward an advantageous state while shaping the competition into a projected state of zero
  • Influencing the target begins by implementing the first move advantage
Click here for a example where some one property assessed everything in his grand competitive setting and won.

Compass Rule: The completeness of information determines the risk, the uncertainty and the volatility of any venture. Non information transparency occasionally usually mn, there will be deception in most cases. ...

Whether it is poker or any competitive venture, securing information and assessing it properly and promptly, is the name of the game. While searching for transparency, they will discover deception.

Final Thoughts
While the the amateurs believed that strategy is a by-product not a process., the professionals emphasized that strategy is a process that leads to a projected product.

We will present a example on how to apply our Art of War principles-driven scenario modeling process to the game of poker in a future post.
# # # 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Succeeding Through the Practice of Scripting in a Competitive Setting ( An Old S.F. 49ers Tradition)

Updated on 12/28/2016  8:38 hr pst  (formerly 082813 18:38 hrs)

"I was always consumed with the X's and O's of football. It was like a chess game to me. I could see 22 people in my mind when I closed my eyes. I can see exactly where they are, exactly where they are going. If it's not part of your nature, you're never going to make it big. " - Bill Walsh's, three-time World Champion Football Coach for an AIM's Investment Funds commercial (a part of Investco Funds Group) in 2002

This unique skill set of visualizing the multiplicity of moving components within a play is one of the many reasons why Bill Walsh, the late head coach of the San Francisco Forty Niners, was considered one of the greatest NFL football coaches and game innovators.

Beside being the innovator of the West Coast Offense, he created the practice of scripting and running a opening plays (or starter plays) script of 25 that served various purposes during the game.

Note from a Previous Post

"The Script" is a game preparation and implementation tool that was invented by Bill Walsh, an American head football coach of the San Francisco 49ers and Stanford University, during which time he popularized the West Coast offense. 

Walsh went 102–63–1 with the 49ers, winning ten of his fourteen postseason games along with six division titles, three NFC Championship titles, and three Super Bowls. He was named the NFL's Coach of the Year in 1981 and 1984. 

The Public Perception of Scripted Opening Plays
A Walsh innovation was scripting the first 15 offensive plays of the game. Walsh went as far as to script the first 25 plays but most teams stop at 15. Since the offensive team knew that the first 15 plays would be run as scripted no matter what, they could practice those plays to perfection, minimizing mistakes and penalties. By ignoring situational play-calling and increasing the game tempo, scripted plays also served to confuse the defense and induce early penalties. Executing these plays successfully could establish momentum and dictate the flow of the game. It also gave the coaching staff an opportunity to run test plays against the defense to gauge their reactions in game situations. Later in the game, an observed tendency in a certain situation by the opposing defense could be exploited.      

The Tangibility Behind 
The Opening Plays 
(Starter) Script 

The Purpose
"In planning, never a useless move.  
In strategy, no step is in vain. " - Chen Hao

The purpose of the script is to evaluate how the other team reacts to each offensive play at the opening stage of the game. The strategist uses this "feedback-based" intelligence to plan his offensive strategy for the remainder of the game.

Regardless of the game situation, the disciples of the West Coast Offense are instructed  to stay with the script regardless of the down, the distance and the defensive alignment, except for the fourth down.  However, circumstances have changed the practice of this rule.  It is up to the practitioner to decide on the certain particulars of this approach.

Building the Script Before the Game

The team's chief scout would report to the offensive coordinator on the strategic and tactical tendencies of the next competitor by viewing their previous game films.

The offensive coordinator would build his play list based on their technical strengths, the competitor's base defensive responses and their competitor's weaknesses and then decides on the preliminary script. 

Idealistically, the offensive coordinator informs the players "the particular plays behind the script" one to three practices before the game day. On the last practice, the team rehearses "The Script."

Beside eliminating anxiety (rather than creating anxiety) among the players. the offense coordinator discovers whether the players are able to master those plays and then decides whether to adjust the technicalities of certain plays.

Conclusively, the implementation of the script requires a great deal of game experience, sound and solid preparation, numerous practices, discipline and emotional intelligence for the offensive coordinator and the quarterback  to run the script.

Side note: Our research tells us that each team performs the process of building of the play list and the script and the practicing of the starter's script quite differently.  What we are doing is merely stating the basic fundamentals behind this unique process.

Preparation Precedes Performance

In the field of observation, fortune favors the prepared.  - Louis Pasteur

Once a play (from the starter list) is implemented, the chief observer/decision makers must perform the following:
  • Recognize the counter-response for that situation (the called play, the down, the yard markage, the field position, the type of players on the field, the formation  and the counter response) 
  • Examine the patterns of data that support the analysis
  • Analyze the quality of data on the possibilities of a deception.
  • Decide on what would the next play be when this situation occurs again.. 
The above diagram is a layout that organizes a great number of different tactical plays for different situations.

The Walsh's View
The Master of the Game Plan
Preparation and Execution Perfected

Bill Walsh, ever the innovator, conceived a plan, now routine in the NFL, to "script" in advance the offensive plays he would call early in a game.

Walsh still remembers the criticism and skepticism from the NFL coaching establishment that greeted him in the 1970s when, as an offensive assistant with the Cincinnati Bengals, he started scripting plays. All the planning could be done in the office during the week instead of on the sidelines during the frenzy of a game.

With a script, the offensive players could devote more study time to plays that definitely would be used in the game, as opposed to studying an entire game plan that invariably included a bunch of plays that would not be called.

"It got to the point where our offensive team really wanted to know those plays," Walsh recalled. "The players really appreciate the idea that you're giving them a (head) start on the game. You can sleep easier, you have more confidence going into the game, and you're more at ease.

For the coaches, you can feel comfortable that the game is almost on automatic pilot when it starts."
 "You know what's going to be called and there's no reason to make a mistake," veteran tight end Shannon Sharpe said of the system in Denver, where coach Mike Shanahan scripts the first 15 offensive plays every week. "You already know if (the defense does) this, who we're going to. So that makes your job a lot easier." 

Just about every team in the NFL now uses some form of scripting. Walsh used to do 25 plays, but most teams now script about 15 plays.
 There are, of course, some misconceptions about scripting. While there might be a long script of plays, they are not called blindly in order. "Would you run 25 in order? No," Walsh said. "Let's say, of the 25, you'd run 18 or 19 sort of in order. If something really worked or you saw something in the defense, you'd go back to (a play).

To me, it was just sort of a safety net because there's so much emotion to start the game, you want to think clearly, and this, in a sense, forces you to stay with a regimen that you clinically planned prior to the game."
"The scripting saved us because I couldn't think," he said. "It was minus-35 wind chill, and there was no way I could look at a game plan or pull something out of my head. All I wanted to do was run for cover, go in where it was warm, for survival. So in that case, the plan was what saved us."

Excerpts are from NFL Insider/ article from 2002 by Ira Miller.

The Compass View
Q: Most coaches utilized a 15 play starter script. Why did Walsh utilized a 25 play starter script?
A: The aim of the 15 play script is to immediately attack the tendencies and the physical weaknesses of the opposition's defense. In the case of the 25 play script, the intent was to reveal the entire opposition's defensive arsenal in certain situations while pinpointing their true weaknesses. 

Q: What categories of plays were in Walsh's starter script?
A: An assortment of pass plays and run plays that has never appeared in previous games. The players, the blocking scheme,  the shifting and the motion of certain players would change while the base formation rarely changes. Walsh would occasionally throw in a few gadget plays that their opposition has never seen before (i.e, the no huddle, hurry up approach with a no audio signal play call, the reverse,  the end-around, the flex flicker off the reverse, the "Halfback option" pass, the play action pass off the medium draw, the "Statue of Liberty " play, etc. )

The 25 Plays starter script was a subset of his master script that also consisted of many other categories of situational plays.  We will discuss more about that topic in a future post.

Some amateurs believed that they know what "The Script" is about and how it works. (Finding information on the web or asking your drinking buddies could only go so far.)  However there are a few experts who understand its true range and the reason why it works.

Many years ago, we have heard that a former Niners player referred "The 25 Plays" as "The 25 Lies." The story behind that statement is based on that the opposition would become so focused on stopping Walsh's 25 play script that they forgot to focus on the rest of the game. 

Retrospectively, it is also a psychological gaming tool and an "informational feedback strategy" tool.

The implementation of a 25 play starter script requires a person with great patience, control and strategic insight. Rarely does anyone ever talk about the keys for the following:
  • when to stay with the script;
  • when to leave the script; and
  • when to return to it.
Retrospectively, Coach Walsh was literally running a real time experiment for the purpose of identifying their tendencies in certain situations. At a later stage of the game, he would then exploit them with various deceptive plays.

We remembered that there was a stat about Walsh's success with the script that his team would have already won the game whenever they possessed a "10 to 14 points" lead by half time. . One could only presumed that his superb ability to script plays, calling the right plays or instructing his quarterback to make the right adjustment call were the cause for Niners success. A great amount of credit also goes to his coaching staff for preparing the team.

The Compass Solution

Compass Principle: The time that it takes to assess, and to position is inversely proportionally to that the time it takes to influence.

Walsh (and others) have successfully used the play script to assessed the motives, the methods and the modes of the competition. Then he positions his team by deciding on the counter response plays that are based on the competitor's move. The influence stage begins when those implemented plays exploit the strategic weaknesses of their competitor. 

The success of one scripted play usually leads to another "positioned" play.

More Notes on Scripting and the Next Hot Trend   

Regardless that this unique practice is commonly being used by many football coaches, our research tells us that many of them do not possess the mindfulness and the strategic training to use it properly. 

Concurrently, some of their quarterbacks are not required to run "The Script" during a no-huddle situation. It is quite rare that they are running a set of scripted plays.

Their foremost objective is to score first, score fast and score often.  This hurry-up approach presses the competition to play "catch up"  by creating immediate tactical mismatches.

By studying the videos. analyzing the specific stats and knowing the competition's individual weaknesses and tendencies, immediate exploitation becomes a higher priority.  Revealing their tendencies through base scripting have become a lower priority.   We will touch more on this approach in a future post.

Learning the script process is not that difficult. It just requires someone who possessed  a basic understanding of the scientific method of trial and error and the skill to assess a situation. Patience is also a requirement. He or she must also understand what are his priorities for that macro situation  and have the fortitude to stay with the approach.

If you need a new approach to gain a competitive lead, read the strategic configuration of your terrain and script your tactical plays. This strategic approach will not guarantee you an automatic win. However, it would offer you the psychological feeling of knowing what are your chances of succeeding.

An New Update For This Post
The San Francisco Forty Niners team has updated the number of plays in their "starting plays" script somewhere between 30 to 38 plays.  

We presumed that you know the reasoning behind this updated quantity of scripted plays. 

The Psychology of Strategy
The macro key to developing the script is to have properly assessed one's competition and the strategic factors that are behind the grand situation, It begins by collecting sound and solid data Then, visualize how certain data are connected 

Through visualizing  the specifics of each tactical situation, one could successfully build the list of plays and develop the starter play script with minimum difficulty.  

In our competitive economy, time line is usually short  and resources are occasionally  limited. The successful strategist knows that every advantage counts. 

The Will to Prepare is Usually Greater than the Will to Win  

Successful competitors have always understood the specifics of why one prepares. Through the practice of the script, they are focused on the process of preparing themselves of gaining strategic momentum. While reviewing the script, one could mindfully see the continuous execution of the plays or the worst case scenario occurring.  

To those who are interested in achieving best performance, we recommended the practice of scripting one's operational activities as a daily task.

The Compass View: The Urge to Improvise
Regardless of the circumstances, many people preferred to operate from the seat of their pants.  Due to their love to improvise and invent, they usually go with their gut instinct.  This specific feeling enthralls them. It is a basic human nature.

Most of these people do not like to spend anytime, assessing their competition.  Some of them feel that they are men or women of action.  With the urgency of "making something happen now", these leaders believed that "the will to make the event happen" will give them the victory. ... In some rare situations, these bold visionaries-thinkers would get "lucky" and prevail.  ... In most cases, their operation teams are usually the ones who saved their vision-driven employers.

The worst case scenario from of this uniquely-efficient practice is a competitor who knows the tendencies of the bold thinkers and understands their concealed motive for each play. The projected outcome should be quite obvious.

In an extreme competitive situation,  the amateurs regularly lose their motivation and begin to ad-lib. In most cases, they never return to their script.   We have seen it repeatedly. The successful implementers of the script usually have the experience and the fortitude to persist and persevere.

Remember that the will to prepare (a script and the team) is greater than the will to win.  In a future post or our future book project, we will explain more about the psychology and the planning and preparation process behind the act of scripting

The Question of The Day
How do you apply this protocol to modern day business?  (We will touch more on this topic in our future book project.) 

Click here for an example on how Coach Walsh utilized it in a non-football situation and click here for how a current Niners kicker assesses, positions and influences from the field level.

Random Comments From The Compass Desk
In complex times, one cannot properly assess and plan without collecting the right amount of tangible data.

The complexity of our society has influenced us into thinking about the need for a pragmatic solution. Building a script is the first step. ...  Learning how to to focus on one's grand objectives while being mindful of the influences that impact their grand settings and beyond is the key.

Those who constantly prevail in some of their competitive endeavors, usually have the superior skills in the areas of strategic assessment, operational planning and tactical adjustment.  ... Sometimes, they just succeed because of the predictability of their situation (i.e., poorly skilled competition, etc.) 

Occasionally, the probability of chance (aka. random luck) plays a heavy role. ...  It never hurts to have a specific script for all predictable worst case scenarios.

To succeed in an antagonistic endeavor, the successful strategists must have already collected the proper data on their targeted opponent. before studying their "strategic efficiency" state. 

Since, many modern head coaches of all sorts are scripting their plays. It tells us that the scripting tool works quite well.  This modus operandi should enable anyone to ascend above the plateau of competitive equilibrium  by preparing him or her to set the pace of the situation and to learn something unique about the competition.

Our understanding of how the strategy game works, has enabled us to integrate certain technicalities of "the starter script" into our proprietary strategic process model.  This overview allows the implementer could see the connectivity of their Big Tangible Picture (BTP) at a glance before deciding on the script-based tactics.

We at Compass360 Consulting have always applied our own version of the script in the operational side of our projects. If you are interested in seeing our presentation of this pragmatic process, please send us a note

We are currently contemplating on publishing a white paper or a book on our unique approach on scripting and staging a competitive situation.  

To secure your winning edge, center your attention on the script. 

Assess the Big Tangible Picture of your competitive setting and build plays that enables you to capitalize on tactical imbalances that offers a totality of advantages.

Choose the favorable situation and decide the right play (aka. the solution) that offers you the best probability of succeeding. 

Know when to adjust from the script  and when to return to it. Conclusively, the score will take care of itself.   ... 

Focus on one situation at a time while be mindful of one's own terrain and beyond.  No script development and implementation is perfect in the beginning stage of the process.   This exercise is a practice toward perfection.

Additional Side Notes 
For the Niners Faithful, we recommended this great book by Daniel Brown- 100 Things 49ers fans should know and do before they die  and Bill Walsh, Steve Jamison and Craig Walsh's book -  The Score Takes Care of Itself.  

Our associates at Cook Ding's Kitchen have always reminded the novices and the neophytes that one cannot successfully strategize if he or she is not able to stay focused on their immediate objective. They also reminded them that the reading of the Art of War does not help either.  

Click here to know the differences between a script and a list.

Click here on someone who does not think much of Walsh.  Our response is that a good strategist is someone who knows the "Anticipation.  Adjustment . Advancement" game. 

# # # 

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Profiteering in the Chinese Economy (Humor)

( source: Winextra )  
Side note: There is no truth whether this crime was ever committed.

During a robbery in Guangzhou, China, the bank robber shouted to everyone in the bank: "Don't move. The money belongs to the State. Your life belongs to you."
Everyone in the bank laid down quietly. This is called "Mind Changing Concept” Changing the conventional way of thinking.
Comment: The robber sold the Big Picture of understanding the importance of carefully making the right choice to the bystanders within the bank.  

When a lady lay on the table provocatively, the robber shouted at her: "Please be civilized! This is a robbery and not a rape!"
This is called "Being Professional” Focus only on what you are trained to do!
Comment: The robber depicts his alleged "professional" image to the audience in hope that everyone understood that he and his partner were only there for one grand purpose.

When the bank robbers returned home, the younger robber (MBA-trained) told the older robber (who has only completed Year 6 in primary school): "Big brother, let's count how much we got."
The older robber rebutted and said: "You are very stupid. There is so much money it will take us a long time to count. Tonight, the TV news will tell us how much we robbed from the bank!"
This is called "Experience.” Nowadays, experience is more important than paper qualifications!
Comment:  The older robber believed that his perception of experience was the golden rule.

After the robbers had left, the bank manager told the bank supervisor to call the police quickly. But the supervisor said to him: "Wait! Let us take out $10 million from the bank for ourselves and add it to the $70 million that we have previously embezzled from the bank”.
This is called "Swim with the tide.” Converting an unfavorable situation to your advantage!
The supervisor says: "It will be good if there is a robbery every month."
This is called "Killing Boredom.” Personal Happiness is more important than your job.
Comment: The supervisor quietly understood the factors behind the current circumstance for transforming an unfavorable situation (to others) toward his own advantage. 

The next day, the TV news reported that $100 million was taken from the bank. The robbers counted and counted and counted, but they could only count $20 million. The robbers were very angry and complained: "We risked our lives and only took $20 million. The bank manager took $80 million with a snap of his fingers. It looks like it is better to be educated than to be a thief!"  ... This is called "Knowledge is worth as much as gold!"
Comment: The robber concluded that their perception of reality was a minuscule of the reality of their grand settings.

The bank manager was smiling and happy because his losses in the share market are now covered by this robbery.  ...  This is called "Seizing the opportunity.” Daring to take risks!  ... So who are the real robbers here?
Comment: By being calm, the supervisor mindfully saw the opportunity to utilize a chaotic situation to their vantage.  He utilized the results of one event to concealed his previous move and his next move. (This approach is similar to "Waiting at Leisure While Waiting for The Enemy" Stratagem from the 36 Stratagems essay. 

Comments From The Compass Desk
With the foreknowledge of the after effects of their situation, would the two robbers have committed the crime?  We quite doubt it.  The probability of them securing that intelligence is quite low. Most people rarely ever think past their current objective. Because of their possible financial plight, these robber would have executed their plan regardless of the circumstances.

The masses have a tendency of perceiving most situations with generalities, without ever knowing the specifics of the  view is a minuscule of the reality (the Big Tangible Picture) that prevails over the grander setting.  They are frequently focused on the immediate gains without knowing the negative after-effects.  ... This category of behavior rarely changes because of their need for immediate gratification.

How to Stay Ahead of The Curve 
When being mindful of the connectivity behind the Big Tangible Picture of their setting, one could become attentive to the possibilities of the on-coming opportunity.  (Side note: It requires a mindful practice of calming the mind, body and spirit.)

Without any understanding of the risk consequences, the practice of "immediate perception is reality" has prevailed over the masses of "unmindful" amateurs. These people just want that one ignition key applicational solution. Understanding how things are connected within the grand terrain and beyond is a waste of their time.  They are always living for that moment.

The exception are the few mindful observers who occasionally possessed the advantage of time, resources and the grand understanding of their current situation and beyond, that enables them to capitalize on some of the possible opportunities.

The Compass Practice
The customary Compass practice is to focus on one's current objective while being mindful of the "matrix of connectivity factor" that quietly operates within one's grand terrain.  You do know how to do that.  Do you?

We do not endorse the commitment of any crime with this unique strategic practice. 


Monday, August 19, 2013

Preparation Precedes Performance: Assessing the Terrain (SF 49ers Style)

This post was updated on 08.19.13. 12:00 noon. 

Everyone prepares for a competitive situation in their own way.  Some mediates. Others talk and wait.  Phil Dawson of the San Francisco Forty Niners strategizes his next game time situation by studying the weather reports and practices his kicks.

Dawson, 38, routinely mines data from, and

“I’m pretty psycho, I’ve got to admit,” he said. “It’s a borderline problem.”

Dawson’s history in wind, sleet and horizontal-blowing snow became relevant when he signed with the 49ers in March. Dawson’s new home stadium, Candlestick Park, is known for its swirling winds that mess with field-goal attempts, and kickers’ heads.

But Dawson has been there. Endured that. He’s played 204 of his 215 career games outdoors, with 108 coming at the Browns stadium, which is perched on the shores of blustery Lake Erie.

Dawson has played 12 percent of his career games in Cleveland in December. The average forecast for the city in the final month of the year: High of 30.9 degrees with 12-mile-per-hour winds and .38 inches of snow fall (that’s from, Phil).

... Despite consistently weathering less-than-ideal conditions, Dawson ranks ninth in NFL history in field-goal percentage (84.0) and third in percentage from 50-plus yards (70.6). Seventeen months removed from his 40th birthday, he’s improving with age: He ranked second in the NFL in field-goal percentage (93.5) in 2012 en route to his first Pro Bowl and has drilled 14 of 15 attempts from 50-plus yards since 2011.

The 49ers believe they’ve upgraded after six-time Pro Bowler David Akers, 38, who was cut in March, endured his worst season in 2012. Dawson has missed 14 attempts (93 of 107) since 2009, one more than Akers missed in last year’s final 14 regular-season games.

Given his sustained success, Dawson is optimistic he can handle the inevitable surprises during the 49ers’ final season at The Stick.

PHILD“I think those experiences can only help, but they’re no guarantee,” Dawson said. “So I’ve still got to put the work in. I’ve got to wear out like I always do trying to figure out hourly forecasts and wind directions. Has it rained that week? Is the field going to be soft? Is it going to be firm? All that kind of stuff. I’ve got to do my homework.”

Dawson did some advance Stick scouting in the offseason, visiting the stadium several times to get more acquainted after only playing two career games in San Francisco. In 2003, Dawson missed his only attempt, a 48-yarder, at Candlestick. In 2011, he made his only kick, a 52-yarder. Not surprisingly, Dawson recalls that he kicked in ideal conditions during his previous visits to the stadium.

“The weather’s been perfect,” Dawson said. “I’m still holding out hope that I’m bringing that with me. Lord knows I’ve played in rough stuff elsewhere.”

Dawson has also endured rough seasons, from a team perspective. He’s appeared in just one postseason game and the 49ers’ recent success was alluring when he weighed his free-agent options.

Now, the weather wonk who has kicked in all elements is eager to experience playoff conditions for the first time since 2003.

“I’m more looking forward now to kicks that are more team-centered, rather than personal accomplishments,” Dawson said. “It’s been communicated to me that’s why I’m here.”

The full post may be read here. Click here for another view of this story

Assessing the Process of Phil Dawson 
On the field, Mr. Dawson operates without any gadget. His research already tells him what would the weather be at that game day and at that specific time. Dawson knows the direction and the momentum of the wind at any part of the football field at any specific moment during the game and methodically follows his sequence of "readiness to implementation" with no hesitation.

He assesses by intuitively focusing on the range, the wind direction, the wind speed (by looking at the flags), the temperature, and humidity. 

The 1st step of Positioning is maneuvering to the right place and begins the process of visualization while synchronizing his breathing with the projected execution. Dawson's then pre-positions his kick to the ready position while being mindful of the wind direction and the location of the yellow-colored goal posts.

The influence begins when he scores the field goal and after the play is over. His team becomes more confident with him. In a climate-challenging situation, they know that there is a positive chance that he will score the field goal.

Influence always comes from a well-honed assessment and well-planned positioning.  All one has to do is to execute the influence.

To an outsider, it looks simple. Mr. Dawson have spent many hours, preparing himself for this type of complex-driven competitive situation. But nothing is ever simple especially in a highly stressed, high reward situation where there are other multi-components that also makes the kick operable.

The Compass Solution

Compass Rule: The time that it takes to assess, and position is inversely proportionally to that the time it takes to influence.

By realizing the complexity, the risk, the uncertainty and the volatility of a given situation, the successful strategists take their time to assess their situation systemically.  After a few sessions of intense preparation, the practice of implementing the "assess, position and influence" steps becomes automatic in a "real-time" competitive situation

The process model of Assessing, Positioning and Influencing requires some planning, preparation and practice.  Do you have the time, the discipline and the drive to do that?

The Questions of the Day
Do you ever methodically assess the targeted terrain before implementing your action? 

Do you make selective assessment a daily habit?   

# Side note: The key to building this habit begins with the act of centering.


Sunday, August 18, 2013

Profiteering in the Competitive Economy through Sunzi's Art of War

One of the most difficult challenges for most Chief Decision Makers is to understand the Big Tangible Picture.within one's competitive settings and beyond.

Profiteering in our risk-driven competitive economy means that one must have the skillset to identify the technicalities within the Big Tangible Picture (the bigger tangible picture of their marketplace and beyond) while avoiding the intent to concentrate on competitive myopia.  Instead of focusing on the competition, this arcane category of strategic focal points usually enables the chief decision makers to capitalize on the unseen opportunities. 


The Compass A/E Process
Following is an abridged abstract on the basic framework of our process

What are the Five Critical Strategic Factors?

The Dao Factor
The Rate of Change Factor
  • This factor focuses on the change rate of each individual strategic and tactical factors. 
The Strategic State of the Grand Situation Factor
  • This factor focuses on the specific attributes behind each individual strategic and tactical factors. 
The Efficacy of the Strategic Leadership Factor
  • This factor focuses on the specific attributes that determine whether the competitor has the leadership to adjust to the grand situation
The Effectiveness of the Implemented Logistics Factor
  • This factor focuses on whether the logistics are consistent or exceed the criteria of the strategic standards
Interacting the Five Critical Strategic Factors 
with the Five Competitive Forces 

Copyright  2008-2013 © Compass360 Consulting
Copying, posting and reproduction in any form (
without prior consent) is an infringement of copyright.

The above chart shows the relationship between the Five Critical Strategic Factors and Michael Porter's Five Competitive Forces. 

By comprehending the connectivity behind the configuration of their targeted marketplace from the different perspectives while being mindfully aware of the constant motion of the five competitive forces, one could understand the strategic efficiency of their competition. 

If used correctly, the chief decision makers is able to prioritize the order of competitive forces.

Our future white paper (and strategy book) will explain the unique connection between these two grand sets of concepts and the approach to understanding where are the threats and where are the opportunities.

Connecting the 
Five Critical Strategic Factors 
to The Compass Matrix

Copyright  2008-2013 © Compass360 Consulting
Copying, posting and reproduction in any form (
without prior consent) is an infringement of copyright.

The above chart shows the grander overview between the Five Critical Strategic Factors, one's own strategic state and the other external (marketing) forces. 

The Compass Chart

Copyright  2008-2013 © Compass360 Consulting
Copying, posting and reproduction in any form 
(without prior consent) is an infringement of copyright.

This Compass Chart is based on the macro concepts of Sunzi's The Art of War.

The intent of this chart is to assist the implementer in identifying the strategic efficiency of each competitor within their own strategic setting and beyond.  The next step is to determine whether the act of thawing their plans is probable. 

There is more than context and Chinese characters behind this exotic chart. Can you decipher the motive and the method behind this visual enigma?  It only took some of our associates who quite understood the gist of the Art of War and the rest of the Eight Military Classics of Ancient China (The Seven Military Classics of Ancient China and Sun Bin's Military Methods) about five years to "compass" the motif of this chart.  In our case, it took eight minutes of our time. 

If someone sends us the proper answer, we will send him or her a copy of Dr. Ralph Sawyer's Essence of War. Are you game? 

By understanding the configuration of the chart, one can also use it for a wide array of worst case scenarios.

The Question of the Day
By understanding the connectivity within your competitive setting and beyond, would you try to achieve "the strategy heaven" while avoiding "the tactical hell"?

Minor Jottings
An non-innovative trust fund baby asked us, "Why don't you surrender your know-how to everyone? ... It will benefit those who are competitive? ... Don't you believe in the greater good?"

By being the grand enthusiasts of Jiang Tai Gong's essay on strategic warfare, we observed the essence of the following grand principle of Six Secret Teachings:

Preserving the Advantage
King Wen asked Tai Gong:"How does one preserve the state's territory?"

Tai Gong said: "Do not estrange your relatives. Do not neglect the masses. Be conciliatory and solicitous towards nearby states and control all that is under you. Do not loan the authority of state to other men. If you loan the authority of state to other men, then you will lose your authority. Do not hurt those of lower position to benefit those of higher position. Do not abandon the fundamental to save those that are inconsequential.

When the sun is at midday, you should dry things. If you grasp a knife, you must cut. If you hold an axe, you must attack."

"If at the height of the day, you do not dry things in the sun, this is termed losing the opportunity.

If you grasp a knife but do not cut anything, you will lose the moment for profits. If you hold an axe and do not attack, enemies will attack instead."

"If trickling streams are not blocked, they will become great rivers. If you do not extinguish the smallest flames, there is nothing much you can do when it turns into great flames.

If you do not eliminate the two-leaf sapling, you might have to use the axe to remove it in future." "For this reason, the ruler must focus on developing wealth within his state. Without material wealth, he has nothing with which to spread beneficence or to bring his relatives together.

If he estranges his relatives it will be harmful. If he loses the common people, he will be defeated. "

"Do not loan sharp weapons to other men. If you loan sharp weapons to other men, you will be hurt by them and will not live out your allotted span of years."

King Wen said:"What do you mean by benevolence and righteousness?"

Tai Gong replied: "Respect the common people, unite your relatives. If you respect the common people, they will be in harmony. And if you unite your relatives, they will be happy. This is the way to implement the essential cords of benevolence and righteousness."

"Do not allow other men to snatch away your awesomeness.Rely on your wisdom, follow the norm. Those that submit and accord with you, treat them generously and virtuously. Those that oppose you, break with force. If you respect the people and trust, the state will be peaceful and populace submissive." - T’ai Kung Liu-t’ao (Six Secret Teachings)

More on this topic can be found in the Seven Military Classics of Ancient China.

Side Note 
The Chinese strategy essays have always emphasized the importance of maintaining one's advantage as long as possible. This could only occur when one has mastered the art of quietude and possessed the metaphysical means to connect the modes to it.

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