You are on page 1of 24

Chapter 3 Strategic Attacks ( Mu gng)

UBMM1011 Sun Zis Art of War and Business Strategies


1. 2. Detailed Assessment and Planning ( Sh j) Waging War ( zuo zhan)

4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13.

Strategic Attack ( mou gong)

Disposition of the Army ( Xng) Forces ( Bng sh) Weaknesses and Strengths () Military Maneuvers () Variations and Adaptability () Movement and Development of Troops () Terrain () The Nine Battlegrounds () Attacking with Fire () Intelligence and Espionage ()

Chapter 3: Strategic Attack ()

Chapter Outline Aim for the entirety (intact)

The 4 stages of strategic attacks 3 principles for Great General Rules of engagement
Business application:
Importance of leadership Rules of competing diplomatic approach Understanding of strengths & weaknesses SWOT Analysis

Aim for the entirety

3.1 If general, when waging war, capturing a whole nation intact is a better strategy; to shatter and ruin it is a weaker option. ~ Sun Zi

Aim for the entirety???

3.6 Capturing a whole division intact is a better strategy; destroying it is a weaker option.
3.3 Thus, to fight a hundred battles and to win a hundred victories is NOT a reflection of the most supreme strategy.
Think of the co$$$t and damage$ of WAR ie financial, weapons, armory, food supplies, lost of army, death of civilians etc. Think of the co$$$t of redeveloping the damaged infrastructure, buildings, hospitals, schools, telecommunication system etc.

The 4 stages of strategic attacks

1. To win by strategising
3.8 The ability to subdue the enemy without any battle is the ultimate reflection of the most supreme strategy. Beating the enemy at every stage of planning and strategising such the he will not even dare to move

2. To disrupt the strategic alliances

3.9The next best strategy is to attack relationships and alliances with other nations. Divide-and-rule (conquer) principle

3. To go after the enemy directly

3.10 The next best strategy is to attack his army (directly). Go after the general (kidnap/bribe), weaponry defense system of the enemy.

4. To go all-out assault against walled cities

3.11 The worst strategy of all is to attack walled cities should only be adopted when all else including (negotiation) FAIL

3 principles for Great General

1. Conquer the enemy without having to fightthrough skillful strategising 2. Capturing the cities without having to assault them through overwhelming the enemy with far superior forces and forcing them to surrender 3. Conquering states without taking a long time going for swift victory

5 Way to predicts victory of a General

1. The general must have strong sense of timing (Line 3.45)

2. The general must know how to deploy different types and sizes of forces (line 3.46)
3. The general must unite his soldiers and officers ( 3.47)

4. The general must be proactive all the time so as to seize opportunities (3.48)
5. The general must be able to exercise full command with no political interference (3.49)

Rules of engagement
1. When outnumbering the enemy TEN to ONE, surround him. 2. When outnumbering the enemy FIVE to ONE, attack him. 3. When outnumbering the enemy TWO to ONE, distract him before launching and attack. 4. When evenly matched, the assaulting force will have to consider very carefully to engage him.
Military doctrine dictates that the attacking force must have superiority of numbers before launching attack

5. When lesser in number to enemy, be capable of escaping (withdrawing) become important

Philosophy underlying guerilla warfare.

6. When greatly inferior to the enemy, be capable of avoiding him.

Deployment of Troop understand the need to achieve relative superiority over the opposing forces

No matter how stubborn, resilient and determined a smaller and weaker force is, it will eventually become captive to a larger and stronger force. >>>SIZE often comes with more advantages than disadvantages.


Know The Other Side, Then Know Yourself

He who knows the other side (the enemy) and knows himself will not be defeated in a hundred battles. ~Sun Zi
He who does NOT know the enemy, but knows himself He who does NOT know the enemy & himself
have an even chance of VICTORY or defeat. bound to be DEFEATED in every battle.


The essence of Strategic attack
Ensure victory without fighting To preserve the strength and morale of he troops and to ensure that the gains are complete


Business Application: To venture into business is to make MONEY.


The attitudes and approach of the managers, CEO etc certainly influences the productivity of staff. Leadership is the ability to create and articulate a vision with such clarity and vigor.


Five Positive Traits of Leadership

CEO can make or break the company. They are responsible for every decision making made on R&D, market penetration, employment, shareholders welfare etc.

Ability to make bold decisions and to take risks (and also be courageous enough to admit his failures)

Despite his high stature and power, CEO must be composed, not easily provoked into anger and action.

Must be practical and realistic in his decision making.

While CEO must be sincere to his employees, he must guard himself against overcompassion (as this might be misinterpreted as weakness)


Rules of Competing
If you are 10 times bigger than your opponents, isolate your competitor. If you are 5 times bigger, go directly after their business. If you are 2 times bigger, divide a competitors market. If you are smaller, defend a small segment. If you are much smaller, move from niche to niche market. ~ Gary Gagliardi Use different strategies when inferior or superior.

To Capture the Whole Intact Diplomatic Approach

The best victories are those than can be won without (or minimal) conflict = to WIN without fighting!!!! Dominance must be achieved by not destroying your industry, but in a manner that leaves the industry intact.
Consider diplomatic approach by making opponents into allies. Ex: 2000, alliances between 3Com, Cisco System, Extreme Networks, Intel, Nortel Networks, Sun Microsystems & World Wide Packets = to develop standards & technology for 10-gigabit Ethernet networks.


To compete diplomatically
Strategic alliances Joint Venture (JV) Only advance when the situation is favorable (ie it enhance companys market position, increase market share, or improve companys product/service).


The Advantages of SIZE

It is quite difficult for smaller company to take on a larger company from the same industry, especially if the product is fairly homogeneous (ie carbonated drinks, mineral water). Therefore, this smaller company usually needs to follow industry leader (ie 4 star hotel vs 5 star hotel).


Competing Strategies for Smaller Company

Introducing a superior product into the market earlier than any other competitor. Entering new segments of the market before any of the competitors. Choosing to enter foreign markets long before any other companies. Exploring niche market.

In sum, to attack the competitors strategy requires a continuous monitoring of the competitive environment as well as the various forces that shape the industry concerned. It requires a proactive and deliberate effort on the part of the company.


Know Yourself and Know Your Enemy


Know your capabilities and those of your competitors. If you do, you can always survive in the marketplace. You may know your capabilities but NOT those of your competitors. Then every success will lead to an eventual failure.

You can be ignorant of you abilities and your competitors. Then you will lose every meeting with competitors.


SWOT analysis
is a quick and simple tool to understand the overall big picture.


General Motor SWOT Analysis

Strengths:- Strong branding, started in 1910 and has become US household name.

Weaknesses:- Diminishing Dealer Network, Insufficient Liquidity, Low Debt Ratings

Opportunities:- Growth Potential in India and China, Increased Global Truck Market, Rising Demand for Hybrid Vehicles Threats:- The Continuing Global Recession, Weakness in Global Automobile Industry (declined of market demand in Western Europe and Japan), Intense competition


-- The End --