Why is Sun Zi’s Art of War still studied all over the world today? It’s
because many great words of wisdom lie between its pages — ideas
that are applicable in our business world today.
This book focuses on the power behind Sun Zi’s written word and his
thoughts on dialectical thinking and ambidextrous strategic leadership.
Centuries ago, these helped Sun Zi transform a weak army into a
formidable force and he continuously achieved victory in an era of great
Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity (VUCA). Among the
areas of warfare he studied and wrote about were leadership, strategy,
terrain (地, Dì) and the weather (天, Tian).
In the VUCA marketplace of today, it also takes holistic and systemic
approaches like dialectical thinking and ambidextrous leadership to
make a difference. And just like the leaders of old, business leaders
today also have to understand leadership, “terrain” i.e markets and
industries, the “weather” i.e. trends and patterns of change, and more.
The author, who has years of experience as a corporate warrior
in companies such as Hewlett-Packard and 3Com Technologies,
shows how Sun Zi’s principles can help leaders learn about strategic
capabilities, intelligence-gathering, being a first mover, rallying the
troops and the use of deception — essentially, how to win without
engaging in costly battles.
He also adds to the book numerous examples and analyses of the
business strategies of companies, including Apple, HP and OSIM, which
will interest the general reader, as well as diagrams and charts that
will be particularly useful to business leaders.