Sun Tzu and the Business of Gravity

Florian Bernhardt @ UnSplash

While reading through 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Covey I found something. It had been waiting to be found for a while already.

I was not the first to find it.

Sun Tzu found it years before years and describes it elegantly in his time
tested book: The Art of War. It’s an idea and a principle.

It goes so that the world and behavior around us is governed by forces
resembling gravity. The ideal way to wage war and enterprise has then most to do with identifying the most potential terrain and place the troops there. When the action starts, the commander should only -release- the troops without having to fear losing. The troops are then like barrels or a wave rolling down the slope conquering whatever stands before them. With this analogy in mind Sun Tzu goes on to say that a victory is clear as day even for anyone without any military experience whatsoever.

So much for war and ancient strategy for now. Let’s jump to ideas.

Great ideas are like waves that crash everything that’s on their way.

Great people have nothing to stop them. There are difficulties, but they just
always find their way. Like water. With gravity.

The gravity of life does not have a measurable gravitational constant, but there is gravity out there. The gravity of business has underlying laws that are used over and over again to create new ideas. Gravity of business if you will.

The problem with this gravitational idea and insight is that it does not really give insights for the ideal placement of troops and energy in the 21st century. Nonetheless, it gives you an approach to see the world. Think of it. Is the endeavor I am engaged with about releasing gravitational
energy or is it about pushing barrels up the hill?

To take a step forward from analyzing the world, think of a formula. The formula to implement Sun Tzu’s idea:

1. Identify

Identify the gravity in your field. In business the universal gravity at the
moment is plain value. Create value and you have gravity. Generate something else and you are pushing the barrels. Does your field have more specialized measures of value? Retention? Effectiveness or efficiency?

2. Position

Position yourself. How do you create this value? How to place yourself? How to offer this value?

3. Execute

Let the gravity work with you.