30 March 2017

"Following the best practices is not good enough" said Sun Zi

Many consultants will tell you to follow your industry best practices. But Sun Zi said that kind of strategy is not good enough. You cannot win that way. You are just playing catch up.
The Quotes:

[04.06] 见胜不过众人之所知,非善之善者也.
If your strategy to win is known by many people, then that is not the best of the very best.
[04.07] 战胜而天下曰善,非善之善者也。
After you have won and the world says it was great, then it was still not the best of the very best.
[04.08] 故举秋毫不为多力,见日月不为明目,闻雷霆不为聪耳。
Because lifting a feather does not show you have strength;
seeing the sun and the moon does not mean you have clear and sharp eyesights;
hearing the thunder does not mean you have sensitive hearing.

Why best practices are not good enough?
Because they are already known by many people. They do not create surprises. Warfare, according to Sun Zi, is about doing the unexpected to surprise and outsmart the competitors. Following the best practices is just catching up with the competitors. They are minimum requirements but not good enough to outdo the competitors. You need to do more than just best practices. Sun Zi's Art of War is teaching us to change the rules of the game and not just follow the rules to win. In the past, Dell go direct and bypass all the intermediaries to quick become the number one PC maker. Apple created the iPod that changed the ways songs are purchased and distributed. iPhone, the iTouch with an added telecom SIM chip brings the internet to your fingertips and dethrone the Nokia and Motorola who did not even known what happened their once lucrative phone business. Be watchful of the changes in the environments and be not kicked out by a new upstart or a transformed giant.

Often, the best practices that work for them, are not likely to work for you, because they all have to be run by people within your company culture. Your company culture, the 道 Dao of your company, the thing that unites the bottom and top of all the people of the company such that they are willing, against all dangers, to live and die for, is different from them. Sun Zu puts Dao the number One factor of five factors for computing the likelihood of winning against competitors. The western management world has finally realized that the company culture is the important determinant for winning. In the past, it was about product and services, and then about business model innovations, and now it is all about the competition of company culture. They are just supporting what the Ancient Chinese has known two thousand and five hundred ago.

If you want to know what the future will be, what to know are to compete in this multi-diversities globalized world, especially to compete with the rising and great Chinese companies, you really need to go back to study Ancient Chinese Wisdom.

ZhangRuiMin, Chairman, and CEO of Haier, the world number white goods manufacturer said, "Business is about philosophies.... I studied 3 bibles, the Analects, DaoDeJing and Sun Zi's Art of War".

So, read up the posts that I have specially written about Ancient Chinese Wisdom for you:

Lim Liat (c) 30 March 2017


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