Thirteenth of #ThirtySixStratagems: Beat the grass and frighten away the snake. 打草惊蛇 (打草驚蛇) – Dǎcǎojīngshé.

Mini strategy series @soerenbax: The #ThirtySixStratagems, a collection of ancient Chinese military thought and experience.
Characters of the Thirteenth of Thirty-Six Stratagems: 打草惊蛇(打草驚蛇) – Dǎcǎojīngshé.  打, dǎ: beat, fight. 草, cǎo: grass. 惊, jīng: shock, surprise, be frightened. 蛇, shé: snake.
Meaning: Test the opponents reaction with smaller strikes and attacks. Provoke the enemy to reveal his strength and intentions.
Business example: Sometimes it is necessary to take an incremental approach to strategic change, in order to test the grounds and gather more competitive intelligence. Thus beating the grass to scare the snake. Simply put: Test the situation and find out how all the other players may behave, without the risk of large scale confrontation or damage to the own strategic position.
This is a very common approach to change management and development in China. It is often preferred to take action, make smaller steps and then see how it goes. Or as I always used to tell my employees in China: 计划还不如变化 (Jìhuà hái bùrú biànhuà) Change supersedes planning.

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