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Sun Tzus Art of War in Business

Ancient warfare applied into modern business strategies

Emanuel Vasconcelos Torres Ana Karen Castillo Meraz

The Art of War

Written more than 2,000 years ago by an infamous Chinese General, it is by far one of the most influential books on the martial arts. Even though it is intended to be a manual on carrying out warfare, it has also been recognized as the most comprehensive text on strategy and has been applied to many aspects of business such as sales execution, management, and general business strategy.

To fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemys resistance without fighting

It is always better to avoid the conflict altogether than to engage and win. Because by winning the conflict, there will be a loser who is inspired to come back and fight another day.

How do you break the enemys resistance without a messy fight? It is only with knowledge:
Sun Tzu said: If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but know not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know not the enemy or yourself, you will succumb in every battle

In business , conflicts usually occur when youre lacking information about a competitor or a colleague. But it can be even worse when you are oblivious to how your own behavior is being perceived. If you seek to understand both sides of every situation thoroughly, you can identify a solution where you get what you want and no one has to lose.

The key to success is to have enough information and knowledge about yourself and your competition so that you can find a way to win the war without anyone having to lose a battle. What type of information should you collect?

He who knows them will be victorious; he who knows them not will fail.
The art of war, is governed by five constant factors, to be taken into account in ones deliberations, when seeking to determine the conditions obtaining in the field. These are: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. The Moral Law Heaven Earth The Commander Method and discipline.

Applied in Business
Moral Law What is the mission and values of a company. Heaven . In business terms, we can interpret this as business cycles. Is there seasonality? Earth We can interpret this as the physical footprint of a company. Where are the office locations? Commander The quality of leadership, plain and simple. Methods and Discipline - This is understanding how a company is managed. Are there efficient and effective processes and methodologies? Or is it more of a seat of the pants thrive on chaos environment?