Business Management Strategies: The Art of War
Many of the business strategies are built on mutual benefit. However, in the modern society, business competition is the reality every company has to face at some stage of its development. For this reason, I agree that business strategies are entrenched in military strategy. I believe that studying military classics, including Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War”, will benefit every person, who wants to build a successful business career. Below are five quotes from “Sun Tzu on The Art of War” in Samuel Griffiths translation, that perfectly fit into the reality of present-day business strategy.
“Know the enemy, know yourself; your victory will never be endangered. Know the ground, know the weather; your victory will then be total” (Griffiths 129). This is the key principle that should lie in the strategy of every company. Indeed, only through knowing the capability, resources, as well as opportunities for the own company, one can understand what it can offer to the market. Without this understanding even the company with the best team, resources and the market situation will fail. At the same time, even fulfilling own potential may be not enough, if the management fails to predict the possible moves of its rivals. Not only own performance but also the ability to adequately answer the challenges is the key to competitive advantage. The second part of the quote can be paralleled with the situation in the industry and economy. Not only it is important to know what is going on right now, but also what are the trends. This is the only way to be superior not only in the present day but also in perspective.
“When one treats people with benevolence, justice, and righteousness, and reposes confidence in them, the army will be united in mind and all will be happy to serve their leaders” (Griffiths 64). While benevolence, justice, and righteousness are traditional Confucian virtues, they can be applied to modern-day business. Apart from the importance of communication, wise decision-making process, and following ideals, this quote states the supreme importance of a leader.
“Therefore, those skilled in war bring the enemy to the field of battle and are not brought there by him” (Griffiths 96). This quote underlines the importance to form the circumstances most suitable for the company. For this, the company management should act proactively, thinking one step ahead. As the result, competitors will have to answer the rules set by the leader company. This strategy is extremely effective in industries with high competition rate.
“To rely on rustics and not prepare is the greatest of crimes; to be prepared beforehand for any contingency is the greatest of virtues” (Griffiths 83). Sometimes it is impossible to be the most proactive company that sets the trends. What Sun Tzu recommends is to develop a set of universal strategies that can be implemented immediately. Indeed, many big companies are slow in decision-making process, which may cost them a lot. Having …