Sun Tzu Art of War – original design thinking

知彼知己, 胜乃不殆,知天知地, 胜乃不穷。
Zhibizhiji, shengnaibidai, zhitianzhidi, shengnaibuqiong

Know the other side, know yourself and your victory will not be threatened.
Know the weather, know the terrain and your victories will be limitless.

A general who is reckless, can be killed.
Cowardly and desperate to live, can be captured.
Easily angered, can be provoked
Sensitive to honour, can be insulted
Overly compassionate to his citizens, can be disturbed and harassed.

Sun Zi Bing Fa: Strategic Applications to Business and Marketing Practices by Wee Chow-Hou

The best and only book on Sun Tzu you need to read. Prof Wee even included the original Chinese text and its hanyu pinyin pronunciation. It also is contextualised to modern business strategies. Not surprisingly it is published by Pearson, as a possible textbook for students of international business.

  1. Gil Foo said:

    I thoroughly enjoyed Dr Wee’s analysis of the Art of War. One of the keenest points I did learn from the quoted passage is that 知彼知己 places 知彼 first and not the other way around. Though one might be granted success if one is inward-looking, no progress can be made without understanding the external environment.

    Relating to Viktor Frankl, our choices in responding to our external environment matter as a indicator of success and failure.

    • joanne koo said:

      Well said. Indeed responding to the external environment and the tsunami like waves.

      How do you keep yourself mentally resilient in such interesting times?

      My favorite Vicktor Frankl quote is

      “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.

      Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”

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