We use cookies and other similar technologies (Cookies) to enhance your experience and to provide you with relevant content and ads. By using our website, you are agreeing to the use of Cookies. You can change your settings at any time. Cookie Policy.

Business can feel like a war sometimes, so it's no surprise that the ancient classic treatise "The Art of War," by Sun Tzu, has relevance to the corporate world.

"Let's look at what the business environment is about. It's about competition," Richard Platt, Intel's former corporate innovation program manager and senior instructor for innovation methods, said during a recent ebizQ podcast.

"Warfare is really the ultimate competition."

Warfare, like business, has guidelines and rules and principles though -- and business can be Darwinian with survival of the fittest and most adaptable companies.

It's important in using this metaphor, however, to understand that business warfare is not against customers but about winning hearts and minds and gaining competitive advantage. It's about market share and influence in the mind of the customer.

A researcher named Langdon Morris performed analysis of Fortune 500 and Forbes 100 companies over the past several decades and discovered some interesting trends. Morris found that between 1979 and 1983 that one third of the Fortune 500 went out of business or fell off the list and that the list had a 6 percent annual turnover. The Fortune 100 was almost as bad.

If you extrapolate the data, says Platt, and Project it forward, you find an interesting trend. Authors Richard Foster and Sarah Kaplan have predicted that only a third of today's major corporations will survive as businesses for the next 25 years; most will die or be bought out and absorbed.

"The reality is that we're looking at drastically compressed planning horizons for every company and the need for fast response," he concludes. The root cause of the dropoff is the adaptability issue, just as the best fighters tend to survive a war.

So what does this all have to do with the Art of War? Sun Tzu said that the highest form of competing is to win without fighting. In business, that means winning customers' hearts and minds and to compete where competitors are not. One tool for accomplishing the latter is called the Blue Ocean Strategy of seeking calm waters, which contrasts with the Red Ocean strategy of sailing into bloody water.

Another tool, to resort to a military analogy, which be the OODA Loop, which was developed by an Air Force colonel. OODA stands for Observe, Orient, Decide, and Act.


1  2  

   Next Page

Explore Our Topics

  • Virtual Conferences
  • Webinars
  • Roundtables

BPM in Action

March 10, 2011

The sixth annual BPM in Action 2011 Virtual Conference will explore cutting-edge market developments in BPM and describe how to leverage them for improved business operation and performance. More

View All Virtual Conferences

Smart Case Management: Why It's So Smart.

Date:Nov 05, 2009
Time:12:00 PM ET- (17:00 GMT)


Date:Oct 29, 2009
Time:15:00 PM ET- (19:00 GMT)

View All Roundtables
  • Research Library
  • Podcasts
  • News

Joe McKendrick: Part II of II: Designing Evolve-ability into SOA and IT Systems

In part two of Joe McKendrick's recent podcast with Miko Matsumura, chief strategist for Software AG, they talk about how SOA and IT systems need to change and grow and adapt with the organization around it.

Listen Now

Phil Wainewright: Helping Brands Engage with Social Media

Phil Wainewright interviews David Vap, VP of products at RightNow Technologies, and finds out how sharing best practices can help businesses understand how best to engage with online communities.

Listen Now

Peter Schooff: Making Every IT Dollar Result in a Desired Business Outcome: Scott Hebner of IBM Rati

Scott Hebner, Vice President of Marketing and Strategy for IBM Rational, discusses a topic on the top of every company's mind today: getting the most from IT investments.

Listen Now

Jessica Ann Mola: Where Will BI Fit In? Lyndsay Wise Explains

In BI, this tough economy and the increasing role of Web 2.0 and MDM are certainly topics on people's minds today. WiseAnalytics' Lyndsay Wise addresses each of them in this informative podcast.

Listen Now

Dennis Byron: Talking with...Deepak Singh of BPM Provider Adeptia

Deepak Singh, President and CTO of Adeptia, joins ebizQ's Dennis Byron in a podcast that gets its hand around the trend of industry-specific BPM.

Listen Now
More Podcasts
  • Most Popular
  • Quick Guide
  • Most Discussed

Quick Guide: What is BPM?

Learn More

Quick Guide: What is Event Processing?

Smart event processing can help your company run smarter and faster. This comprehensive guide helps you research the basics of complex event processing (CEP) and learn how to get started on the right foot with your CEP project using EDA, RFID, SOA, SCADA and other relevant technologies. Learn More

Quick Guide: What is Enterprise 2.0?

A lot of people are talking about Enterprise 2.0 as being the business application of Web 2.0 technology. However, there's still some debate on exactly what this technology entails, how it applies to today's business models, and which components bring true value. Some use the term Enterprise 2.0 exclusively to describe the use of social networking technologies in the enterprise, while others use it to describe a web economy platform, or the technological framework behind such a platform. Still others say that Enterprise 2.0 is all of these things. Learn More