Fourth of #ThirtySixStratagems: Await the exhausted enemy. 以逸待劳(以逸待勞) – Yǐyìdàiláo.


Mini strategy series @soerenbax: The #ThirtySixStratagems, a collection of ancient Chinese military thought and experience.

Characters of the fourth of Thirty-Six Stratagems: 以逸待劳(以逸待勞) – Yǐyìdàiláo. , Yǐ: by, with. , yì: relaxed. , dài: treat, deal with. , láo: fatigue.

Meaning: Make sure to be well rested and relaxed when awaiting the hungry, tired and weakened opponent.

Business example: Choose a tactic that keeps your team relaxed, rested and well fed, but the opponent’s team exhausted, short in resources and disoriented. In business, a local supplier may give the visitors from afar a hard time, by not picking them up from the airport, choosing a noisy hotel or a meeting room without air-conditioning. Make it tough for them to keep focused on a long negotiation.

Key to use this strategy in business is be to predict the future battleground and prepare for conflict under these new conditions. Set up position and wait for the competitor to approach.

In combat it would mean to stay out of your attackers range and make them expend energy on useless actions.

Third of #ThirtySixStratagems: Kill with a borrowed knife. 借刀杀人(借刀殺人) – Jièdāoshārén.

Mini strategy series @soerenbax: The #ThirtySixStratagems, a collection of ancient Chinese military thought and experience.

Characters of the third of Thirty-Six Stratagems: 借刀杀人(借刀殺人) – Jièdāoshārén. , Jiè: borrow. , dāo: knife. , shā: kill. , rén: people, person.

Meaning: Kill with a borrowed knife. One man’s loss is another man’s gain.

Business example: A factory may have the problem that the only reliable supplier for certain components has rather high prices and is a very tough negotiator. It seems impossible to lower the prices through negotiation.

In that case it is wise to add suppliers that are very keen to enter a business relationship with the factory. If this smaller supplier is then kept small and hungry for more orders, then he will start to use all the tricks in the book in order to gain the upper hand over the first supplier. This urge for more orders is even increased if the factory requires the new smaller supplier to invest into special machines and tools.

During talks with the factory, he may accuse the first supplier of fraud, make below cost price offers, spy on his operations etc. – just to get more orders.

In any case, that new supplier will be a great source of information and puts the factory back into control of the negotiation.

Second of #ThirtySixStratagems: Besiege Wei to save Zhao 围魏救赵 (圍魏救趙) – Wéiwèijiùzhào.

Mini strategy series @soerenbax: The #ThirtySixStratagems, a collection of ancient Chinese military thought and experience.

Characters of the second of Thirty-Six Stratagems: 围魏救赵 (圍魏救趙) – Wéiwèijiùzhào. 围, wéi: surround, enclose. 魏, wèi: Wei (family name). 救, jiù: save, rescue, help. 赵, zhào: Zhao (family name).

Meaning: Besiege Wei to save Zhao. Your friend and ally may besiege the home base of your opponent after his forces left to attack you. Thus finding and attacking the weak and exposed flank of your attacker. The opponent will fight on two fronts, which increases the chance of victory.

Business example: When a strong group (aggressor) is about to take over a weaker group (defender), then a third party may gain a good reputation by attacking the aggressor in apparent behalf of the defender. The third party may succeed to eventually take over both parties without the nasty side effects of outright aggression.

First of #ThirtySixStratagems: 瞒天过海 (瞞天過海) – Mántiānguòhǎi; #English: Sneak across the ocean in broad daylight

Mini strategy series @soerenbax: The Thirty-Six Stratagems, a collection of ancient Chinese military thought and experience.

Characters of the first of Thirty-Six Stratagems: 瞒天过海 (瞞天過海) – Mántiānguòhǎi. , mán: conceal. , tiān: sky. , guò: to cross. , hǎi: sea, ocean.

Meaning: To hide action within a unsuspicious, everyday action. To pretend everyting is just business as usual, but actually striking at the opponent.

Business example: When preparing a hostile take over of a stock listed company, it may be wise to hide the true intention, because of possible counter measures. At least at first and until enough shares are already collected. This maybe done through intermediate banks and traders and in small steps. The purchase will look like everyday trade and won’t attract too much attention. When enough shares are collected, then the takeover can be announced. Sneak across the ocean in broad daylight.