The Art of Strategy - Part Three

"Two Basic Issues Encapsulate Sun Tzu Treaty"

Strategy is based on the idea that you, your undertaking and your issues have a unique place in the world.

The Art of Strategy deals with two main issues:

  • What is your position?
  • How do you advance that position?

All your opportunities flow from that strategic position. That position could be personal, or a major undertaking such as a negotiation, a business challenge or a conflict with other organization.

The art and science of strategy teaches that there are five key aspects to your position:

  • Mission is the higher purpose or goal that you share with other people.
  • Climate describes the trends that change your situation from moment to moment. Each ground has its own climate.
  • Ground is where the contest takes place. The ground provides the prize you seek to win. It defines the game you are playing, and each game with its own unique rules.
  • Command is the unique quality of character and leadership that you bring your situation. Command is the realm of decision-making and personality.
  • Methods describe the skills that you master to work with other people. They are the realm of methods and techniques. By definition, strategy is itself a system.

The Art of Strategy starts with the idea of position, and goes onto make this idea easy to use in every aspect of life.

The framework of a strategic position is framework for a machine.

You might say that this machine manufactures luck. We complete this machine by adding its moving parts.

These four parts are designed to find and exploit opportunities:

  • Information to uncover new opportunities
  • Focus to aim at the best possible opportunity
  • Action to take advantage of that opportunity
  • Position to get the rewarded from that opportunity

These four skills provide the heart of Sun Tzu’s methods, strategies & Tactics and he spends about 70% of this book discussion them.

In the next article in this series, I am going to touch very briefly on each element to give a flavor of the art of strategy based on tactical positioning.

Sun Tzu start by saying: