Chapter 8 : Varation in tactics
1. Sun Tzu said: In war, the general receives his commands from the sovereign, collects his army and concentrates his forces.
2. When in difficult country, do not encamp. In country where high roads intersect, join hands with your allies. Do not linger in dangerously isolated positions. In hemmed-in situations, you must resort to stratagem. In desperate position, you must fight.
3. There are roads which must not be followed, armies which must be not attacked, towns which must not be besieged, positions which must not be contested, commands of the sovereign which must not be obeyed.
4. The general who thoroughly understands the advantages that accompany variation of tactics knows how to handle his troops.
5. The general who does not understand these, may be well acquainted with the configuration of the country, yet he will not be able to turn his knowledge to practical account.
6. So, the student of war who is unversed in the art of war of varying his plans, even though he be acquainted with the Five Advantages, will fail to make the best use of his men.
7. Hence in the wise leader's plans, considerations of advantage and of disadvantage will be blended together.
8. If our expectation of advantage be tempered in this way, we may succeed in accomplishing the essential part of our schemes.
9. If, on the other hand, in the midst of difficulties we are always ready to seize an advantage, we may extricate ourselves from misfortune.
10. Reduce the hostile chiefs by inflicting damage on them; and make trouble for them, and keep them constantly engaged; hold out specious allurements, and make them rush to any given point.
11. The art of war teaches us to rely not on the likelihood of the enemy's not coming, but on our own readiness to receive him; not on the chance of his not attacking, but rather on the fact that we have made our position unassailable.
12. There are five dangerous faults which may affect a general: (1) Recklessness, which leads to destruction; (2) cowardice, which leads to capture; (3) a hasty temper, which can be provoked by insults; (4) a delicacy of honor which is sensitive to shame; (5) over-solicitude for his men, which exposes him to worry and trouble.
13. These are the five besetting sins of a general, ruinous to the conduct of war.
14. When an army is overthrown and its leader slain, the cause will surely be found among these five dangerous faults. Let them be a subject of meditation
Any goal can be pursued in a variety of ways. It is the job of strategy to choose the most effective course of action for attaining objectives.
Whether a small or an ambitious one, projects which do not have enough ressources allocated are bound to fail
I wanted my team to understand that strategy is disciplined thinking that requires tough choices and is all about winning. Grow or grow faster is not a strategy. Build market share is not a strategy. Ten percent or greater earnings-per-share growth is not a strategy. Beat XYZ competitor is not a strategy. A strategy is a coordinated and integrated set of where-to-play, how-to-win, core capability, and management system choices that uniquely meet a consumer’s needs, thereby creating competitive advantage and superior value for a business.
Strategy is a way to win—and nothing less.
From 20,000 sold units on the first year to 300,000 the following one, how a brand which was born out of a brainstorming session at Toyota in 1983 jumped over the competition so successfully?
Part of the reason has to do with the marketing strategy, another is in the financial resources Toyota was willing to put in :
The first Lexus took six years and one billion dollars to build.
Chester Dawson, author of “Lexus: The Relentless Pursuit said:
“When I had the opportunity to speak to the Chairman of Toyota a couple of years ago, I asked him about expenses. He said that he told his crew to spend as much money as they needed to, but the company would not be willing to put a dime into building a maintenance network in the U.S. because it expected the car to never break because of all the funds that were being put into it. That was obviously an overstatement, but it reflected this kind of thinking. They plowed all kinds of money into it and they took apart the competition. Literally. They went into every car—the S Class, the 7 Series BMW—broke them down into each component ...