Cutting Through the Competition: The Art of War in Business

I wonder if Sun Tzu would be happy and proud about his ongoing impact upon the world over the last couple of millennia. Or, whether he would be disgusted at all these merchants (business people) adapting his strategies for war to their bottom lines. The old Chinese general would turn in his grave if he thought about all these Americans picking his brains to beat their competition, much of it Chinese in the twenty first century. Of course, The Art of War is probably up there with the Bible, as one of the most popular unread tomes on the planet. It sits on countless bookshelves gathering dust, like home gym equipment in closets everywhere.

Cutting Through the Competition: The Art of War in Business

“The art of war is of vital importance to the state”

Well, not much has changed there, the U.S. economy loves its war machine. Prolonged conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan have not done any damage to the bottom lines of the corporations that service the military. Wars kill people, but they feed the economy at the same time.

“All warfare is based on deception.”

Business would love this little Sun Tzu gem. Fooling your competition goes a long way to beating them. Franchise success can be based on the appearance of having many soldiers in the field, multiple outlets give the impression of size and strength.

“The enlightened ruler lays his plans well ahead; the good general cultivates his resources”.

Planning and vision for the future are essential in business for success. You must be able to read the signs; don’t become the next Kodak or Enron. Sydney business is just as volatile in the twenty first century and utilising all your resources remains paramount for long term survival. Start a café in this town and you need to have all your ducks in a row. The competition in business has never been greater in the hospitality industry.

“Unhappy is the fate of one who tries to win his battles and succeed in his attacks without cultivating the spirit of enterprise; for the result is waste of time and general stagnation”.

Bloody hell Sun Tzu, that is a mighty harsh assessment of the situation, but very true just the same. My own failures in business have littered the highways and byways of this old town. It can be a hard road if you cannot learn to have a short memory, my friend.