Sunday, October 15, 2017

Global TRIZ Day


On October 15, some idea generators (engineers, strategists, etc.) celebrate the birthday of Genriсh Altshuller (inventor of TRIZ) and Global TRIZ Day.
 
His methodology could be beneficial to the problem solvers who deal with problems relating to technology, scientific, social, environmental, political, etc. 

The Triz methodology only works effectively when or if the implementers can properly assess the Dao of their object.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Culture is Strategy (Thoughts From The Seven Military Classics of Ancient China)

(updated on 10.03.17)

 To establish a positive strategic culture, it begins with quality leadership.

Following is a listing of those components that establishes this category of leadership:
  • the strategic direction (from the senior executives);
  • the power and authority;
  • the quality of Command and Control;
  • the quality of Unity;
  • the Dao of Field Managers;
  • the quality of strategic organization, administration and discipline;
  • the proper evaluation of  people;
  • the proper employment of people;
  • the motivation of the field expeditors;
  • the psychology of competition;
  • rewards and punishments; and 
  • instruction and training.
 More to come.  ... 

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Some Notes From Sawyer's Lever of Power


Following is the text from the back cover

Despite being disparaged as the refuge of the weak and pernicious, the chosen mode of Asiatic and other duplicitous peoples, ever since antiquity deceptive measures have enabled dramatic battlefield success by acting as a “lever or power.” Historical records unequivocally show both China and the West have virtually unbroken traditions of innovating deceit and employing deception. Western tacticians theorized less, but they well recognized the advantages of deceit, maneuver, betrayal, and false treaties.
            Lever of Power comprehensively examines deception’s historical evolution in China and the West; provides extensive translations of important Chinese, Greek, and Latin military writings on the concept; and characterizes the chief measures in terms of method, dynamics, and objective. Numerous important, commonly recognized historical exemplifications – many still assiduously studied in PRC think tanks -- are provided for each category, resulting in a fundamental study of deception that synthesizes theory and illustrative case studies.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

"Ralph Sawyer, a leading student of intelligence and strategy, is the world’s authority on Chinese theory and practice about these matters. The research is phenomenal and the book summarizes his ideas with power and elegance. No one interested in deception and strategy can afford to miss it.”
Dr. John Ferris, Authorized Historian, GCHQ
Professor of History, University of Calgary

~ ~ ~ ~ ~


Ralph D. Sawyer is a historical scholar and strategic consultant who has specialized in Chinese military and intelligence issues for five decades. His well reviewed analytical writings include the companion volume, The Tao of Deception: Unorthodox Warfare in Historic and Modern China, The Tao of Spycraft, Ancient Chinese Warfare, Conquest and Domination, and Fire and Water. His highly praised translations, all of which feature extensive historical introductions, range from the groundbreaking Seven Military Classics of Ancient China through Sun-tzu’s Art of War, Sun Pin’s Military Methods, the Hundred Unorthodox Strategies, Strategies for the Human Realm, The Tao of War, and Zhuge Liang: Strategy, Achievements, and Writings. A long term Fellow of the Centre for Military and Strategic Studies and a visiting scholar at numerous institutions, he continues to be a Senior Research Fellow with the Warring States Project.

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Click here if you are interested in purchasing this book.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Some News on Dr. Ralph Sawyer's "Latest" Book: Lever of Power


An associate sent me the covers of Dr. Sawyer's latest book. 

Those who are interested in implementing a higher grade of deception strategies should be interested in this book.


Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Remembering the Inventor of Triz

(updated on 09.15.17)


Click here on a quick summation on the life of Genrich Altshuller.



Click here on a quick summation on what is Triz.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

The Dao of the Amateur Spycraft

(updated on 090717 at 12:12 hrs)

Securing sound and solid intelligence is the first step to establishing an efficient strategic position.  

The Boston Red Sox took that strategic pointer to a different level through technological means.  However, they got caught by their favorite rival.  Now the Red Sox is forced to admit that they have cheated.

Regardless of the outcome, one must contemplate about the lesson that is learned.  ...  Those who pursue this practice, must properly master the projected informational gathering technique before ever executing it in the field.  Being exposed for using it is usually embarrassing.  ...  

The Pragmatic Practice
This situation could have been avoided if the Red Sox had carefully utilize more than one signaler in each game and switched them during each inning for each individual games. 

Training each signalers properly in terms of initial signals and contingency signals, would have been helpful too. Therefore the Yankees would not have caught them.  

Problem: If the receiver of the signal does not possess the "emotional-intellectual" capacity to absorb the information, then he will be confused and lose track of what to do next.

The better strategic move was to expose the Yankees for the same action first.   

Conclusively, this exposure is more about gamesmanship than anything else.  In spite of this situation, both teams has to play the actual game.  

The Theory of Strategic Positioning
The "strategic positioning" concept is about gaining a position that gives the field team the advantage of anticipating a minimum of two steps ahead while moving a minimum of half a move ahead.

Depending on the timeline factor and the resources factors, the next step is determining the most efficient strategic approach.  (That is another topic)

The Compass View 
In the information economy,  most of our public actions are always being monitored and recorded.  It is important to always contemplate carefully on implementing the right strategic moves while be mindfully aware of establishing the strategic position.

When deciding on the type of strategic position, knowing the timeline and the efficiency rate of the available resources for the current situation and its prioritization to the Big Tangible Picture always help.


Minor Update
Click here on the latest update on Red Sox's Spy Gate.

Side note: A ballplayer using a mouthguard as a listening device is moderately possible because of the constant evolution of technology.  However, would that person be perceived as insane for doing so? 

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Happy Labor Day



 

Drink some beer.  ... How about a root beer float? 



Eat a burger or two.

In some instances, there will be people drinking some tea.


and other food of their choice.  

While consuming your meal, quietly reflect on the past and the present achievements of the laborers. 

Review on the tangibility of their achievements.  . . . Salute to them for their contributions with your positive thoughts and your favorite beverage.

Happy Labor Day!
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Monday, August 28, 2017

Questions That Smart Strategists Usually Ask When Assessing a Strategic Situation




(updated 09.06.17)

Following is an abridged list of questions for those who know how to recognize the tectonic specifics behind a complex strategic situation: 
  • When assessing the complete configuration of the strategic situation, are the strategic components operating efficiently at 100% rate? 
  • Based on the complete assessment of the strategic situation, do the conduit components currently exist?
  • Based on the complete assessment of the strategic situation, where is the extreme opportunity scenario?
  • Based on the complete assessment of the strategic situation, where is the strategic inflection position (SIP)?
  • Based on the tactical qualities of those assessed components, is there a "most significant denominator" that could become a strategic multiplier?
  • Based on the choice of the strategic multiplier, how scalable is it?
  • Based on the choice of the strategic multiplier, how does the invariance factor of the current situation affects it?
  • Based on the framework of the strategic multiplier, is it symmetrically enough to adjust to the criteria of the current strategic situation and/or to the criteria of the next strategic situation?
  • Based on the choice of the strategic multiplier, does it possesses the strategic potential to influence other similar components to revolve around it?
  • Based on the assessment of the situation, can the projected end-results become synchronized to other external strategic factors? 
These questions are for those operate with incomplete information.  

More to come

copyright 2017  Compass360 Consulting Group

Saturday, August 12, 2017

The Opening Plays Script Book Project Is Still In Play



While we have been busy with our own personal projects, the opening plays book project is still in motion.  

We originally wrote the book with an assortment of principles from the Chinese strategic classics. 

That section was removed because we believed that it might confuse the "non-strategic" neophytes.

At some point of time, we might release it through this blog.

The new and improved book includes a section that compares the process of calling opening plays script to the analogy of the game of chess and the game of poker.   

So much to do.  ...

Sunday, July 30, 2017

The Big Tangible Picture of Global Innovation from the Economist.com

Source: Wikipedia 
(updated 08/03/17)

Here is a post that we have forgotten to publish many months ago.  ..

Since you are reading this blog, we are presuming that you are a strategic thinker/implementer who could be "innovatively" focused.

Click here, click here and click here for the Economist magazine's viewpoint on global innovation.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Happy Independence Day.


Enjoy this glorious Day!


Can you have your cake and eat it?

Friday, June 30, 2017

Food For Thought: What Game Board Are You Operating From?

(updated on 07.01.17)

Most competitive people who usually assess their situation, almost always do not know what is the configuration of their situation (gameboard) that they are operating from.  




Is it from a western chess board perspective?  




Or is it from a poker game table perspective?



Better yet, is it from a go (weiqi) gameboard perspective?

Before you decide on your tactical approach, assess the configuration of your strategic terrain in terms of pathways, possible resources-decaying scenarios, possible time-delay scenarios and possible incline-based scenarios.

Playing From the Chessboard
Are you a knight on a chess board who is being pushed to the middle of the board to solve the problems of the employer?   Jumping from one position to another while avoiding the obstacles is your daily modis operandi.
.
Or are you an isolated pawn who pushes yourself forward with some minor support from someone in the back ranks?   

Do you offer advice like a bishop?  If so, does the boss listens to you?  

Or, do you offer technical insights like a rook while protecting the boss from external chaos?

Playing From the Poker Table 
In some tactical scenario, do you know when to start the game with an conservative "open"?  Better yet, do you know when to check and raise?  

Conclusively, it is all about knowing when to hold them.  Knowing when to fold them.   Knowing when to walk away. Knowing when to run.

Playing From the Go Game Board
If it is a long and sequential scenario, are you able to play one position while being mindful of the other relevant positions that connects to it?

Summary
One must know what is the configuration of the situation (game board) that he is playing on before deciding on the tactical approach.

More to Come
   

Another Interesting Translation of Sunzi's Art of War



If you are a project manager, this book offers an interesting perspective in managing complex projects through the principles of  Sunzi.   It uses the Lionel Giles translation.

Read and enjoy.  ...  Whenever there is time, we will review this book. 

Thursday, June 29, 2017

I Have Been Busy. Gone Fishing.



Going fishing is easy.  Deciding on the type of fish is the challenge.

Monday, June 26, 2017

The Questions of the Day: 36 Strategies Vs. 100 Unorthodox Strategies


The members of the Art of War cult should know the answers for these following questions:
  • What are the circumstances for using 36 Stratagems?
  • What are the circumstances for using unorthodox strategies?

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Thinking Unorthodox in Strategic Competition



Following is a abridged listing of our favorite books on this topic 



More to come.  ... 

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Strategizing Beyond One's Gameboard: The Near Fall of Billy Walters

Updated at 06.09.2015

In the strategy game, we have always been interested in how certain strategists climb the ladder of success.

Billy Walters  
Click here and here on the general profile of Billy Walters. 

Analysis
To the sideline speculator, it was an act of "easy to over reach." 

This gentleman unconsciously went with his instinct. As most gamblers do, he has always lived on being one move ahead. ... Most strategies fail when the amateurs do not know how to anticipate the counter move by the other side. They usually get lucky against average competition who can't think 1/2 move ahead.

This gambler got "hot and ambitious."  Then he decided to play a different game that required a quite "different"
perspective.

Click here and click here on what lead to his downfall.  

Mr. Walters choice of tactics were questionable at best. 

Lesson
Professional strategic achievement begins by understanding the strategic configuration of the situation and the tactics that are used by the competitors of the game board.  The choice of tactics establishes the gist of the strategic implementer's mindset.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

An Interesting Translation of Sunzi's Art of War


Source: Original Art of War
(updated at 060617)

This book presents superb clarity in its translation and its commentary.  ... We  cheerfully recommended it to those who are interested in a word by word translation. 

You can secure a copy at your favorite internet book store or your local book shop.

Click here if you are interested in another perspective of Sunzi's essay.


Thursday, June 1, 2017

Miscellaneous Notes: A Pragmatic Strategic View For Those Who Are Operating One Move At a Time


For those who live day by day, lacking emotional intelligence and operating on emotional instinct.  Read the following 12 pointers 
  1. We admitted we were powerless over _____ – that our situation had become unmanageable.
  2. Came to believe that a something greater than ourselves could restore us to ______ .
  3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of that power as we understood Him/her/it.
  4. Made a searching and fearless inventory of our situation.
  5. Admitted to ___ , to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of _____.
  6. Were entirely ready to have something remove all these defects in our situation.
  7. Humbly asked for methods to remove our shortcomings
  8. Made a list of persons/situations where we had screwed the pooch, and became willing to amend them all.
  9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
  10. Continued to take inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it (and amended the situation).
  11. Sought through reflection to improve our conscious contact with ____ as we understood ___, looking only for knowledge and the power to carry that out.
  12. Having had an awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to others and to continue practice these principles in all our affairs.
A Pragmatic Approach for Developing a Strategic Approach 
For each strategic step, there are many tactical means to complete that specific step. There are different levels of success/effectiveness for different people.  What works for one person, might not work for another.

Without tactics (the methods to implement the strategy), the neophytes are retired.  This is the same for tacticians who operate without a framework.

Side Note
Click here for an interesting Harvard Business Review article. The topic is on  the basics of executing a strategy.  

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

The Basics of an Unorthodox Strategy (3)


Before developing an unorthodox strategy, understand the measures and constraints of one's strategic situation is essential. 

The objective of the unorthodox strategy is to influence the rival through pretext and guile.  

Mastering the fundamental tactical principles and possessing the skill to evaluating the settings and the rival's intent and their strategic state is quite important.   

For more insights on the Big Tangible Picture and a few tactical pointers on how to play "the unorthodox game.", we suggested the reading of the first two chapters of Six Secret Teachings. 

Sunday, May 28, 2017

A Military Introduction to Unorthodox Strategies


If you are looking for an introductory to how unorthodox strategy is applied in military situation, you can try this book.  Click here for a NYT review of this book. 

For the advanced strategic readers, I would suggest Ian F.W. Beckett, Modern Insurgencies and Counter-insurgencies and Robert B Asprey, War in the Shadows, Volume I and Volume II.

My other favorites are: 100 Unorthodox Strategies and Tao of Deception.



Saturday, May 27, 2017

Alpha Go: 3 World's Best Player: 0

Source: New Yorker

“Go is to Western chess what philosophy is to double-entry accounting.”     - Trevanian, Shibumi

Click here on the outcome of Google's Alpha Go's three matches against the world's best player. 

Alpha Go's next step is to head toward the state of retirement.

Click here for those who wanted to pursue the career as a professional Go (Weiqi) player.

Those who are interested in studying the games between Alpha Go and itself. Click here. 

Side Note
Regardless of the outcome, Go (Weiqi) is a great game for those who are interesting in developing intuitive strategic and tactical skills by recognizing a myriad of conflicting patterns. 

Learning it through poor translations and ill-conceived opinions of Sunzi essay on strategy is not the way to go. 


Friday, May 19, 2017

The Basics of an Unorthodox Strategy (2)


The T'ai-tsung said, "If, as Sun-Tzu said, 'dividing and combining are changes, 'wherein lie the unorthodox and orthodox?"

Li Ching said: For those who excel at employing troops there are none that are not orthodox, none that are not unorthodox, so they cause the enemy  never to be able to fathom them. Thus with the orthodox they are victorious, with the unorthodox they are also victorious. The officers of the Three Armes only know the victory, none know how it is attained. Without being able to fully comprehend the changes, how could outstanding generals attain this? As for where, the dividing and combining come from, only Sun-tzu was capable of comprehending it. From Wu-Chi , no one has been able to attain it."
                                                                                                                         Questions and Replies 1  

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Your Competition: The Cult of The Non-Experts


It amazes us that there are people who have tried to become experts by reading the first 100 links of various topics that they were searching on.

They understand what the topic is about and how it works in terms of generality without the specificity behind it.


These same people rarely ever think about  contingencies and can barely think one move ahead.   


They go with their heart without understanding how it connects to the Big Tangible Picture and/or  ever contemplating on the consequences of failing.  


This same group of non-mindful people tell their followers to believe in magical thinking and that there is another chance for all situations. 

This is your competition.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

The Basics of an Unorthodox Strategy (1)


Drumming an advance and setting up a great tumult are the means by which to implement and unorthodox plans.
                                                                                Six Secret Teachings, 27

Those who excel at repulsing the enemy first join battle with orthodox troops, then use the unorthodox ones to control them, This is the technique for certain victory.
                                                                                Wei Liao-tzu, 23

Objective: Influence the Target
To be  the first to gain victory, initially display some weakness to the competitor and only afterward pursue confrontation.  Then your effort will be half, but the achievement will be doubled.
                                                                                Six Secret Teachings, 26

Saturday, April 29, 2017

What is Strategic Power? (2)

The victorious army is like a ton compared with an ounce, while the defeated army is an ounce weight against a ton!  The combat of the victorious is like the sudden release of an pent-up torrent down a thousand-fathom gorge.  This is the strategic disposition of force.



Now the army's disposition of force is like water. Water's configuration avoids heights and races downward. The army's disposition of force avoids the substantial and strikes the vacuous. Water configures its flow in accord with the terrain;  the army controls it victory  in accord with the enemy.

Does Automation Means Zero Jobs and Free Money?


As mentioned in previous posts (2010 and after), we projected that the robots were going to take jobs from our fellow humanoids.


The Questions of the Day
Have any of you heard that this  French politician's proposal- that every adult get £660 a month for free... because ROBOTS are taking over three million jobs?

Interestingly, Elon Musk of Tesla's also concluded the same point in Nov 2016.



Q: Will the cyber money then be produced by robots?

Projection and Prognostication 
Our projection is that there will always be jobs for those who are strategically creative and are willing to take the chance to prevail over the complexity of life.  Whether the actual endpoint of the endeavor beats the odds is a different story.

The first step is having the willingness to not to take things for granted.

The next step is recognizing the matrix of the connectivity that exists behind the order of the grand situation.


The third step is verifying the truth behind the recognition. 

The fourth step is asking whether one has the leadership qualities, the resources and the logistics to meet or exceed  the standards behind the matrix of the connectivity.

The fifth step is to deciding whether one is willing to pursue the challenge. 

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Gone Fishing While Thinking A Few Moves Ahead


In an uncertain economy, the perceptive and experienced fisherman (strategist) always knows the risk factors for that body of water that he is preparing to fish at.

While there is near zero risk in a pond, the risk amplifies as the body of water increases.  Where in the ocean, the variability of risk can change at a whim.  

The weather occasionally plays a significant role in altering the movement of the ocean.

Beside the obvious preys that live in this body of water, there are predators too.


The Compass Principle of Recognizing the Terrain
The size of the terrain is usually proportional to the quantity of risk-rewards and risk-drawbacks.

The Dao of Strategic Positioning
To position ahead of the competition (or the situational curve), the perceptive strategist usually anticipate the risk factors for that situation by recognizing the risk benefits, the risk challenges and the risk drawbacks for each of the projected approaches is the initial step.

Completing the risk challenges properly and promptly, does not always mean that one would be many moves ahead of the curve. One has to comprehend the strategic configuration of the situation in terms of the matrix of connectivity and the seasonal cycle, before ever knowing how many moves ahead that he or she will be positioned at.

Whenever our latest project is completed, we will only then discuss more on this unique strategic topic.  

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Observing the Big Tangible Picture (BTP) From the Top View (A Perspective From Hui Shi) 2 of 2

(updated at 07.28.17, 1:11 am)

Following is a brief analysis of Hui Shi's guidelines for viewing the configuration of the Big Tangible Picture (aka. The 10 Theories. or the 10 Paradoxes):

"The largest thing has nothing beyond it; it is called the "One of Largeness." The smallest thing has nothing within it; it is called the "One of Smallness."
The largest object is always attached to the Big Tangible Picture because of its influential effect while the smallest object possessed no centrality. Its internal state is increased when it is attached to a similar object.

"That which has no thickness cannot be piled up; yet it is a thousand li in dimension." 
A well-configured object has no capability but has the prowess to expand because of its unique framework.

/// Note: Beside measuring the size of an object. the perceptive strategist immediately examines its connectivity and its centrality (in reference to time and space).  

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"Heaven is as low as earth; mountains and marshes are on the same level." 
Whenever the cycle of the external factors is completely affecting the entirety of a strategic situation (the Big Tangible Picture), the time factor become relevant.  Simultaneously,  the strategic effect of each categorical terrain's obstacles could become quite pertinent..

"The sun at noon is the sun setting. The thing born is the thing dying."
There is a seasonal cycle, a rhythm and a flow in everything while there is a cause and an effect in the macro realm.  (Identify the strategic inflection point where a dichotomy occurs.) 

"Great similarities are different from little similarities; these are called the little similarities and differences. The ten thousand things are all similar and are all different; these are called the great similarities and differences."
Based on the configuration of the current situation, the perceptive strategist identifies the similar conditions and the different conditions of the different objects. Both the similarities and the dissimilarities  define the tangible configuration of the situation.

"The southern region has no limit and yet has a limit."  
Regardless of the projected capability of an relevant object,  this object has a finite coverage.

"I set off for Yueh today and came there yesterday."  
The grand time standard of a terrain-based situation occasionally changes the circumstances behind the the perceptive strategist's objective


Humorous translation: By recognizing that the true north of one's strategic situation and arriving at its "destination” (with minimal to zero damage), one could only then repeat that same ambition. 

"Linked rings can be separated." 
Through the identification of the connective sequence of the components that existed within the macro sequence of a system, the perceptive strategist immediately generates a new strategic  perspective.


"I know the center of the world: it is north of Yen and south of Yueh." 
Through the identification of the central point of an object or a situation, the perceptive strategist immediately pinpoints its prowess.

 "Let love embrace the ten thousand things; Heaven and earth are a single body." 
By pinpointing the singular conditional factor that synchronizes all of the objects (the focal catalyst/ the most common denominators), one identifies the possible matrix of connectivity for that strategic situation.
 

Comments From The Compass Desk
To improve or to enhance the actual output of an object (i.e., an event, an entity, a product, a service, etc.), one must first recognize the internal connectivity that operates within the targeted system

Pinpointing its system cycle, its contradictions, its unity points and the midpoint is the next macro step for establishing the possibility of creating a strategic difference.