Chapter One "laying Plans", Art Of War Written By Sun Tzu1. Sun Tzu said: The art of war is of vital importance to the State.
2. It is a matter of life and death, a road either to safety or to ruin. Hence it is a subject of inquiry which can on no account be neglected.
3. The art of war, then, is governed by five constant factors, to be taken into account in one's deliberations, when seeking to determine the conditions obtaining in the field.
4. These are: (1) The Moral Law; (2) Heaven; (3) Earth; (4) The Commander; (5) Method and discipline.
5,6. The Moral Law causes the people to be in complete accord with their ruler, so that they will follow him regardless of their lives, undismayed by any danger.
7. Heaven signifies night and day, cold and heat, times and seasons.
8. Earth comprises distances, great and small; danger and security; open ground and narrow passes; the chances of life and death.
9. The Commander stands for the virtues of wisdom, sincerely, benevolence, courage and strictness.
10. By method and discipline are to be understood the marshaling of the army in its proper subdivisions, the graduations of rank among the officers, the maintenance of roads by which supplies may reach the army, and the control of military expenditure.
11. These five heads should be familiar to every general: he who knows them will be victorious; he who knows them not will fail.
(some of the parts taken from Chapter One "Laying Plans", Art Of War written by Sun Tzu)
Although the book Art of War was written several centuries ago and was originally intended for military purpose, the basic principle is still relevant and applicable for today's modern world. In the first chapter, Sun Tzu explained about the five fundamental factors that will determine the course of war. He who understands these five fundamental factors will gain the upper hand. If translated into today's modern business world, the five factors can also be interpreted into -
(1)The Moral Law can be interpreted as organizational ob
(2) Heaven can be interpreted as environmental changes and uncertainty;
(3) Earth can be interpreted as the ground where competitions take place (opportunity and threat);
(4) The Commander can be interpreted as leadership's role and capability;
(5) Method and Discipline can be interpreted as the process of doing things effectively and efficiently (method) and a fair reward and punishment system for the people (discipline);
Sun Tzu is an exceptional strategic thinker and has won several wars during his era. I wonder how he will fare in today's modern business society if he's still alive.