Eleventh of #ThirtySixStratagems: The plum tree dies for the peach tree. 李代桃僵 (李代桃僵) – Lǐdàitáojiāng.
Mini strategy series @soerenbax: The #ThirtySixStratagems, a collection of ancient Chinese military thought and experience.
Characters of the eleventh of Thirty-Six Stratagems: 李代桃僵 (李代桃僵) – Lǐdàitáojiāng. 李, lǐ: plum. 代, dài: replace. 桃, táo: peach. 僵, jiāng: stiff, remain stiff.
Meaning: The plum gets the insects while the peach remains stiff and strong. The plum dies to save the peach. When loss can not be avoided, sacrifice may be necessary for the benefit of whole.
Business example: See the big picture and long term trends. In order to stay in business in the long run, it may be necessary to sacrifice a successful business unit now, in order to promote a new business unit for long term success.
This is what is currently happening at SAP. The cloud business is growing, while the traditional software license business is under thread. SAP is sacrificing the plum, to harvest the peach.