Saturday, March 15, 2014

Succeeding in the Info Economy by Understanding the Fifth Chapter of Sunzi's Art of War (Strategic Power)

For the last five days, we have touched on the integrated process of assessing strategically, waging conflict, planning the campaign and defining the competitive disposition. 

Chapter Five is the favorite chapter of the pseudo warriors who wanted the field action without ever getting injured. 

Implementing strategic positions that project force, usually have infinite variations.  Influencing the competitor to maneuver into a negative state of disposition while generating momentum to one's own advantage is the means that leads to a triumph.

The Emphasis of Directness and Indirectness (Orthodox/Unorthodox)
"There are no more than five cardinal notes, yet in combination, they produce more sounds than could possibly be heard; there are no more long than five cardinal colors, yet in combination, they produce more shades and hues than could possibility be seen; there are no more than five cardinal tastes, yet in   combination, they produce more flavors than could possibly be tasted.  ..."  
- Ames's translation

The Emphasis of Directing Through Illusion 
"The ideal strategy during conflict is to move opponents here and there, until they are perfectly positioned to their own disadvantage.  This strategy, which he called Directing, is the art of compelling the opponent to react to whatever information is presented.  It is a skill that is used by leaders who are gifted with creative, insightful minds  ... tactics could be used, in endless variations, to orchestrate surprise, skillful leaders creates the appearance of confusion, fear or vulnerability, caused the opponent to perceive a false weakness. The opponent is helpfulessly drawn toward this illusion of advantage.  ... Through the promise of gain, an opponent is moved about while the team lies in wait. "  - Wing's translation

One "Idealistic" Strategic Configuration of Power
One who employs strategic power (shih) commands men in battle as he were rolling logs and stones. The nature of wood and stone is to be quiet when stable but to move when on precipitous ground. If they are square they stop, if round they tend to move. Thus the strategic power (shih) of one who excels at employing men in warfare is comparable to rolling round boulders down a thousand-fathom mountain. Such is the strategic configuration of power (shih). - Sawyer's translation  

Knowing what type of strategic power to utilize is moderately easy. Assessing the opportunity, pinpointing the timing and preparing the strategic resource for the situation is the real challenge.

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