You are on page 1of 13

Sun Tzu on Management

The Art of War in Contemporary Business Strategy (Based on a Major Study of ASEAN Corporations)


Foo Check Teck Peter Hugh Grinyer


Sun Tzu on Management


Sun Tzus prescriptions on organising aspects are analogically relevant to strategic planning; Obviously, it is difficult to draw parallels- Sun Tzus work was based on a different context; The Authors try to emulate the model set by Sun Tzu to present the essence on organising strategy; Strategic planning is much more than annual exercise it is the art of continuous shaping and positioning of an organisation to win against competitors.

The book is distinctive in 2 aspects

Its findings are based on the results of surveys of strategic planning processes in public listed companies within ASEAN region; Able to relate these findings to the prescriptions of Sun Tzu (the ancient but influential military strategies);

Part I: The Strategy Process

Implementation of strategic planning rationale Method of organisation in terms of major organisational characteristics and the activities involved; To seek competitive advantages in a planned and rational manner - .Anciently the skilful warriors first made themselves invincible and awaited the enemys moment of vulnerability..

Part I: The Strategy Process..

Ability to formulate timely counter strategies what is of supreme importance in war is to attack the enemys strategy Sun Tzu fully recognised the importance of assessing opportunities, threats and relative strengths and weaknesses SWOT Analysis .generally, management of many is the same as management of few. It is a matter of organisation

Part I: The Strategy Process..

Utilisation of forecasts management is better able to read the signs of danger presented by the immediate environment - birds rising in flight is a sign that enemy is lying in ambush Survey result: ASEAN companies evaluate themselves by their relative competitive strength i.e. wider product range, better product quality and competitive prices. In organising, Sun Tzu stressed the role of the command company CEO role of formal corporate planning mapping of strategies.

Part II: Critical Success Factors

CEOs role the CEO as the ruler or General (in Sun Tzu terms) of an organisation continues to be critical in shaping corporate strategies. Environmental Factors - now in fire attacks one must respond to the changing situation - strategic planning process respond effectively in changing external situations. Effective and skilful command - thus the potential of troops skillfully commanded in battle may be compared to that of round boulders which roll down from the mountain heights.

Part II: Critical Success Factors

Esprit de Corps - anciently, those described as skilled in war made both large and small to mutually cooperate; for the good troops to succour the poor and for superiors and subordinates to support each other. People participating in strategic planning BOD, CEO, Executives

Part III: Performance Consequences

Adaptability to changes

Strategic insights Goal achievements Industry competitiveness

Coping with change, is clearly of central importance to the modern business corporation just as it was to Sun Tzus armies


Part III: Performance Consequences

Achieving goals in waging wars concentration of forces or resources Role of strategic planning in organisations achieving goals build understanding of the constitution businesses of the company, regular discipline, systematic process of the strategy development, written plans, sets explicit goals and basis of strategy implementation



Why this book?

Applied Theory between ancient and modern times and between military and business operations Increase level of knowledge (Sun Tzu = Strategic Planning Process) Art of War = for winning the war = strategic planning = to manage the organisation


Thank you
Mohamad Farid Sahat 29 October 2009