Lecture 4

UBMM1011 Sun Zi¶s Art of War and Business Strategies


1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. Detailed Assessment and Planning ( ) Waging War ( ) Strategic Attack ( ) Disposition of the Army ( ) Forces ( ) Weaknesses and Strengths ( ) Military Maneuvers ( ) Variations and Adaptability ( ) Movement and Development of Troops ( Terrain ( ) The Nine Battlegrounds ( ) Attacking with Fire ( ) Intelligence and Espionage ( )



Chapter 6 Weaknesses and Strengths (
Chapter Outline ‡ First mover advantage ‡ To dictate and not to be dictated ‡ Be flexible like water


‡ Business application: Change and staying flexible


4 .First Mover Advantage ‡ Those who arrive first at the battleground will have sufficient time to rest and prepare against the enemy. ‡ Those who arrive late at the battleground will have to rush into battle when they are already exhausted.

had enough rest. it will lose all the advantages. ± The troops may already be tired. ± Thus. and more prepare) would be a wrong strategy.First Mover Advantage ‡ If a force arrives late at the battleground. 5 . rushing into battle against a well-rested enemy (who arrives early.

To Dictate And Not To Be Dictated ‡ The person adept in warfare seeks to control and manipulate his enemy instead of being controlled and manipulated. 6 . ± He can cause his enemy to arrive on his own accord by luring him with advantages. ± He can deter his enemy from coming by creating (potential) danger and harm.

2. 5. distress and tire him. When he is well-encamped and comfortable. therefore. Provoke the enemy out from its comfort zone. Attack areas where the enemy must defend. When he is well-stocked with food.To Dictate And Not To Be Dictated 1. the enemy would become more vulnerable. Exploit the enemy by changing the enemy strengths into weaknesses. starve him out. 3. ‡ ‡ When the enemy is well rested. 7 . 4. Move along routes that the enemy least expects. provoke him to move on.

Therefore. 8 . Choose routes of movement where there is no enemy. Attack places which are not defended by the enemy. 3. Having the ability to withdraw faster than the enemy. They may be routes that the enemy is not interested in or they may unaware that routes exist. or where the enemy is weak and vulnerable.Avoid Being Manipulated by Enemy 1. one can travel peacefully and will not be harassed at all. 2. Defend places where the enemy dares not to attack because the defense is so strong and invulnerable or where the enemy does not know how to attack. 4.

While he plans to manipulate his enemy and change his strengths and weaknesses. he must bear in mind that the enemy could do likewise to him too!!! 9 .

‡ The more places the enemy defends.Avoid Being Manipulated by Enemy ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ If he strengthens the front. 10 . If the enemy does not know where I intend to attack. If he defends the rear. If he prepares to his left. he must defend many places. If he tries to defend everywhere. and the weaker is his force at any one point where I am attacking. he will weaken his left. his front will be fragile. the more scattered are his forces. he will weaken his right. ‡ The enemy must not know the places (battleground) where I intend to attack. If he reinforces his right. he will be VULNERABLE everywhere. he will weaken the rear.

‡ Superiority or strength in numbers means that the enemy will have to prepare against you.´ ‡ Inferiority or weakness in numbers means that you have to be prepared against the enemy.Avoid Being Manipulated by Enemy ³While remaining concealed myself. while those of the enemy are scattered at ten different places. I can keep my forces concentrated and unite my entire troop at one place. then I can use my entire force against onetenth of his. 11 .

The Importance Of Knowing The Battle Place And Time ‡ If you KNOW the places of the battleground and the exact date of engagement of battle: ± your army can travel a thousand miles and still be ready for battle. 12 . ± your army will have sufficient rest and more prepare to fight the battle.

± When the army arrives late. despite its tiredness. ± This problem is compounded when the columns are stretched many miles apart.The Importance Of Knowing The Battle Place And Time ‡ If you DO NOT KNOW the location of the battleground and exact date of the battle. 13 . against a well-rested and well-prepared enemy. they will face several risks: ± The different columns of the army may not move at the same speed and face different type of difficulties. they have to rush into battle.

‡ Throw some contests against the enemy so as to know the areas of his strengths and weaknesses. ‡ Provoke him so as to know his reasons and basis for movements and actions. ‡ Uncover his dispositions so as to know the vulnerability of the ground (that he is occupying).Victories Can Be Created ‡ Therefore. 14 . ‡ The ultimate skill in the deployment of troops is to ensure that it has no fixed or constant formation and disposition. scheme to discover the plans and strategies of the enemy so as to know their likelihood of success (against us).

the large army does not automatically guarantee victories. ‡ Yet. ³Thus.Victories Can Be Created ‡ During the Spring and Autumn Period (770 to 476 b.c. the Kingdom of Yue was known to have a very large army and powerful army.). it did not win all battles.´ ~ Sun Tzu 15 . I say: Victories can be created by us. Thus.

deploying and directing its army to achieve the optimal result. 16 . ‡ In war. strategizing.Victories Can Be Created ‡ In war. both quantity and quality is important to win a battle. what matters most is how one goes about planning.

‡ Just as water controls its flow according to the ground. an army should create its victory by avoiding enemy¶s strengths and strike enemy¶s weaknesses and should shape its strategy according to battle conditions. 17 .Be Flexible Like Water It is the inherent characteristics of flowing water to escape from high ground (strengths) and hasten its movement downwards (weaknesses).

‡ General must be FLEXIBLE in his action with respect to strategic and tactical variations in order to gain advantage of the changing circumstances. so in warfare there are no fixed rules and regulations. 18 .Be Flexible Like Water Just as water has no constant shape. ‡ General has almost the ultimate DISCRETION to decide what he deems the best.

‡ The general must be able to react and capitalise in the changes (creating opportunities in the midst of dangers). ‡ What may be considered as strengths may become weaknesses the next time around and vice versa. 19 . ‡ In warfare. the FOUR seasons make way for each other in turn.Change and Uncertainty The FIVE elements of nature (water. fire. the moon has its periods of waning and waxing. There are short days and long. metal. fluidity and adaptability) to the changes that occur ceaselessly. ‡ The general must be able to adjust (flexibility. earth) are not always equally predominant. wood. there are no constant condition.

20 .Summary ‡ Weaknesses and Strength Chapter explains how your opportunities come from the openings in the environment caused by the relative weakness of your enemy in a given area.


‡ Weakness = needs. 22 . fullness and surplus of resources. you need to look for opening (opportunities) that make your progress easy.Discovering Opportunities ‡ In business. ‡ These TWO concepts (weakness and strength) describe the cycle that creates and fills opening naturally. emptiness and a lack of resources. ‡ Strength = satisfaction.

they lack accuracy. they focus on speed. they focus on accuracy.Discovering Opportunities Strengths does not come from size and money. 23 . they sacrifice quality. they focus on quality. ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ If If If If competitors focus on price. It comes from adapting to opponent¶s weaknesses. they lose on speed. they are vulnerable on price.

24 .‡ Google has successfully shown how to make the dot-com advertising model work. but the result has been relatively lowquality products with huge privacy and security problems -not to mention an increasing level of government concerns and intervention.

Strengths & Weaknesses Reinforcing weakness leverages weaknesses. ‡ Concentrate your time and efforts on providing the resources to continue the successful advance. ‡ Abandon less profitable products and services gradually. not on its worst car model (Savvy?). ‡ Do not spend time and resources shoring up weak products and weak attacks. 25 . Reinforcing strength leverages strengths. ‡ Ex: Proton should focus on its best car models (???).

4. Advertising: Use repetition of a clear. distinctive benefit. 26 .Creating Superior Products Create an overwhelming superiority by concentrating works in every dimension: 1. 2. Strategy: Apply consistent pressure on achieving key strategic initiatives. 3. 5. Sales promotion: Reinforce the advertising message. Selling: Focus on your unique selling proposition. Leadership: Concentrate on developing people.

27 .The Power of Advertisement ‡ Concentration of ADVERTISING. ‡ Advertising is a marketing weapon that demonstrates its firepower in capturing mass attention and its consistency build up identity.

‡ The strentgh of boutique is specialization. ‡ Marketing from strengths work in every organization and every product lines. Firefly or MAS? 28 . Example: ‡ The strength of departmental store is style and brand names.The Power of Advertisement ‡ Reinforcing strength through advertisement. ‡ The strentgh of frozen food and fast-food? ‡ The strength of Air Asia. ‡ Companies should focus their advertisment attack on promoting their premier brands and products.

Cereal Advertisement (Revolution of Breakfast Menu) 29 .

Campbell Soup (Revolution of Food Preparation) 30 .

USA¶s Got Milk? Campaign (An attempt to promote cow¶s milk consumption) 31 .

USA¶s Got Milk? Campaign (An attempt to promote cow¶s milk consumption) 32 .

) 33 .USA¶s Got Milk? Campaign (Awareness of drinking milk has increased 90%.

34 .How To Exploit Opportunities In Business World? Example: ‡ While South Africa and Vietnamese markets were widely ignored for political reasons (apartheid system in South Africa and Vietnam intervention in Cambodia). Japanese businessmen had no worries about their brisk presence in these two countries.

‡ Early entrant disadvantages? ± Initial high costs (in R&D and advertisements) ± Company had to educate consumers about the products due to unfamiliarity. ± Can capture bigger market share. ‡ Late entrant advantages? ± Can avoid high market and/or product development costs. ± Can avoid mistakes made by early explorers. 35 . ± Sometimes has to price down to encourage purchase.Early Entrants (First Mover) ‡ Early entrant advantages? ± Company can enjoy lower costs at establishing and maintaining a brand name.

Gillette razor. ‡ From 1923-1983. they remained no 1 in the industrial ranking!!! Note from WBLE: Read Article Pioneer Advantage: Marketing Logic and Marketing Legend. 36 . Nabisco biscuits. Coca-cola.Early Entrants: The Pioneers American¶s Pionering company ‡ Wrigley Chewing gum. Lipton tea. Goodyear tires and Singer sewing machines.

± uses it to manufacture golf clubs and fishing rods (easy application). ‡ Western countries uses top-down approach ± immediately did researches on its application in aircraft industry (difficult area). Japan controls 70% of the world production of carbon fiber today. ± By doing this.Flexibility In Innovation Ex: The discovery of carbon fiber (exceptionally high tensile strength but lighter than aluminum). ‡ Japan uses bottom-up approach. 37 .

5. 3. 13. 4.Chapters 1. 2. 11. 7. 9. 8. 12. 6. 10. Detailed Assessment and Planning ( ) Waging War ( ) Strategic Attack ( ) Disposition of the Army ( ) Forces ( ) Weaknesses and Strengths ( ) Military Maneuvers ( ) Variations and Adaptability ( ) Movement and Development of Troops ( Terrain ( ) The Nine Battlegrounds ( ) Attacking with Fire ( ) Intelligence and Espionage ( ) ) 38 .

Chapter 7 Military Maneuvers ( ) Chapter Outline ‡ Tradeoffs in maneuvering ‡ Rules of manoeuvring ‡ Principles of control ‡ Business application: Stay upper-hand and in control 39 .

‡ However.Tradeoffs in Manoeuvring ‡ In any military campaign. ‡ He must harmonise (the interest of) these diverse groups and build their relationships and comradeships by encamping them together. none of these are more difficult than military manoeuvres (that are aimed at gaining victories against the enemy). 40 . ‡ He then assembles the troops and mobilises the citizens (people). the general will first receive his orders from his ruler.

41 . ± Turning disastrous circumstances into advantageous situations.Tradeoffs in Manoeuvring The challenges of military manoeuvres: ‡ Turning torturous and difficult routes into direct accesses (to the enemy) ± This can be achieved by derailing the enemy with baits as well as inflicting damages.

the vulnerability to enemy attacks becomes extremely high. ± The rest of the army will be scattered over a vast area.Tradeoffs in Manoeuvring ‡ If an army has to travel 100 miles to contend for gains. ± Being separated by time and space. 42 . only the fittest 10 percent would arrive at the destination first.

Tradeoffs in Manoeuvring ‡ It can also travel 50 miles ton contend for advantages against the enemy. 43 . the general of the vanguard will be humiliated and defeated. ± In this case. ‡ If the army has to travel 30 miles to contend for advantages against the enemy. then only twothirds of the troops will arrive at the destination. ± This is because only half the troops will arrive at the destination.

Better equipment and supplies will boost the chances of victory. Since war is a very costly exercise and therefore should be completed in the shortest time possible. 44 2. These are typically supplied from home.Prerequisites for Combat 1. - . To cushion against any possibility of protracted war campaign. Sufficient food and grain. Heavy equipment and supplies. - 3. To ensure there will be no shortages and avoid from going beyond second replenishment of food and supplies. Sufficient stockpiles and reserves.

booby traps. Understand the characteristics of the terrain that your troops are moving through. Some difficult terrains may provide opportunities for the enemy to lay ambushes. 45 . Know the intentions and plans of the neighboring states before entering into any strategic alliances. 6. Use the services of local guides as a way to overcome the terrain and exploit it. 5. There is no such thing as a consistently trustworthy and friendly neighbour. Harsh terrain can pose severe threats to your army. create obstacles or sabotage your army movement.Prerequisites for Combat 4.

(speed) 2. (rewards and motivation) 46 . Be like mountains when encamping. Be like thunder and lightning when attacking and assaulting.Rules of Manoeuvring 1. Be like the darkness of night when in concealment. (formation) 3. (sharing) 8. (secrecy) 6. Be as majestic as the forest when in slow marches. (ruthlessness) 7. Be like fire when raiding and plundering. Be willing to share the gains when occupying conquered territories. Be generous after looting and plundering. Be swift and invisible as the wind when in movement. (steadiness) 5. (ferocity) 4.

flags and banners: ± to draw the attention of the troops and focus them for combat under the direction of the commander. ‡ The purpose of using cymbals. drums. ± to boost army¶s morale and frighten away the enemy. ± to denote the different formations an divisions of the army. ‡ As visual communication and eye contact are hampered. cymbals and drums are used as commands. 47 . banners and flags are used as signals.Communications & Signals in Combat ‡ As verbal communication cannot be heard clearly.

use more banners and flags. ± to destroy the morale of the enemy¶s army & rob them of their decisiveness. use more torches and drums.Communications & Signals in Combat For battles at night. For battles in the day. 48 . ‡ These different means of communication are designed to influence the senses and judgment of the enemy.

Communications & Signals in Combat
‡ Choose the right communication tools to match their circumstances at hand. ‡ Sophisticated communication tools in modern war:
± radar, satellite system.


Principles of Control
‡ At the beginning of a military campaign:
± the spirits of the forces are high.

‡ As the campaign progresses:
± the spirits of the forces become sluggish and lethargy creeps in.

‡ Towards the tail-end of the campaign:
± thoughts of returning home (base camp) will set in.

‡ Therefore in warfare:
± avoid attack the enemy when their spirits high. ± only attack the enemy when their spirits are sluggish and the soldiers homesick.

This is control of the morale factor.

Principles of Control

‡ Use orderliness and stability to confront chaos and disorder. ‡ Use calmness and steadfastness to deal with noisiness and clamour.

This is control of psychological factor.


‡ Never engage an approaching enemy who displays orderly flogs and banners. ‡ Use well-fed and nourished troops against enemies who are short of food and rations. 52 . This is control of physical factor. This is control of change factor. ‡ Use well-rested troops to counter tired and exhausted enemies.Principles of Control ‡ Use proximity (of troops) to the battlefield to counter enemies that come from afar. ‡ Never attack an advancing enemy who shows an impressive and well-organised formation.

‡ Do not attack the agile and highly motivated elite force of the enemy. always leave him an escape route. ‡ Do not pursue an enemy who pretends to retreat in desperation. ‡ Do not engage an enemy who is assaulting downwards from high ridges. ‡ Do not fall for bait offered by the enemy. 53 . ‡ Do not pursue a desperate enemy too relentlessly. ‡ In surrounding an enemy.Illustrations on the Art of Military Manoeuvres ‡ Do not advance against an enemy who is encamped on high grounds. ‡ Do not intercept an enemy who is returning to his home country.

54 .Summary ‡ Military Maneuvers explains the dangers of direct conflict and how to win those confrontations when they are forced upon you.


Government¶s Role in Business World ‡ Government: ± to facilitate and assist the growth of business (to achieve national economic growth) and NOT to directly manage them. including welfare-oriented goals (not an optimal solutions/profit oriented) ‡ Business: ± are driven by profits and therefore should be more responsive to changes in business world. 56 . ± is constrained by multiple objectives.

Government¶s Role in Business World Example: ‡ Japan. ‡ UK government had rescued some industries in the 1970s when they ran into financial difficulties. ‡ MALAYSIA??? 57 . Taiwan and South Korea governments are very active in assisting and facilitating their business conducts (market-driven economy). ± Japan government had rescued KANEBO from bankruptcy due to unethical misconduct in the company.

GM ‡ America's biggest carmaker. General Motors. declared itself bankrupt & massive reorganisation of GM would leave the US government holding 60% of the company's equity. ± The carmaker has received $19bn of emergency aid from the treasury to keep it afloat and a further $30bn of government funding is likely to be forthcoming to see it through bankruptcy. 58 .

markets. or areas where you can win. ± must know & understand how to attack specific segments. 59 . e. profitability) ± putting your competitors at a disadvantage.g.Business Maneuvering ‡ Maneuver is a way of thinking about: ± how you move to a position of competitive advantage (the ability of the firm to outperform rivals on the primary performance goal.

Main Types of Competitive Advantage Cost leadership advantage Competitive advantage Differentiation advantage .

Differentiation of products (distinctive. 61 . Haagen Dazs. competitive advantage leads to higher profits. Rolls Royce. Giant. more product features) and selling them at a premium price: ‡ Porsche. Tesco. Barabus. Tag Heuer. etc. Walmart etc. 2.Competitive Advantage ‡ According to Michael Porter. Cost leadership (producing products at a lower price than competitors) ‡ Air Asia. Rolex. Tissot. will result either from: 1.

Concentrate in your strengths.Finding a new war. and services are standardize to all locations. ‡ Flanking attack . ‡ Fabian . ‡ Relocate the battle . do not engage in competitive advertising and to use the funds for another activity.Refusing battle.Concentrate strengths against weaknesses. ± Ex: Franchise systems reinforce brand name.Maneuver Varieties in Business ‡ Frontal attack . products. identity. 62 . ‡ Attack in echelon .Direct assault to competitors. and building up your brand strengths. ± Gain market share with a strong or unique product.

63 .Maneuver Varieties in Business ‡ Example of attack in echelon your strengths. concentrate in ‡ Franchise systems reinforce strengths ± brand name. identity. and services are standardize to all locations. products.

listening).Communication in Business Individuals spend nearly 70% of their waking hours communicating (writing. 64 . speaking. reading.

showmanship and magic to get customer¶s attention. Use pictures. props. ± Open-minded customers like a variety of reasons (to justify their purchase) ± Find a new reason to buy that the customer¶s hasn¶t thought before. ± Words alone not enough. 65 . ‡ You must listen to customers to understand their problems and unmet needs. charts.Communication with Customers ‡ You have to speak the customer¶s language. ± Deal with customers¶ needs from different directions.

Advertising: Instrument to Communicate with Customers What were P1W1max messages? 66 .

± Honda of American Manufacturing. 67 . which operates in a hostile environment (USA). use multiple means and adaptability. identity.Communication in Business ‡ Great CEO should posses great skill in communication: ± Appropriateness. had communicate change very carefully and allowed employees to know constantly about the changes and cultivated it as a natural occurrence.

Lean Routine/clear Situation Nonroutine/ Ambiguous 68 .Hierarchy of Media Richness Rich Overloaded Zone Media Richness Oversimplified Zone Media Richness The data-carrying capacity of a comm. medium. including the volume & variety of info. that can be transmitted during a specific time.

Avoid tough resistance. 69 . ‡ You must use your time wisely.Dealing with Customers (Control of the Morale Factor) ‡ In the morning. ‡ Close the deal when the resistance fades and customers want to go home. ‡ During the day it fades. customers resistance is high. customers want to go home. ‡ By evening.

‡ Do not accept those who only pretend to agree. 70 .Rules in Making Sales ‡ Do not take positions against strong feelings. ‡ Do not attack your strongest competition. ‡ Don¶t press the customer too hard for a decision. ‡ Give the customer an agreeable alternative. ‡ Do not argue with customers who agrees with you. ‡ Do not believe everything the customers tells you. ‡ Do not fight an argument based on a lack of alternatives.

-The End- 71 .

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