9 Principles Of Business Strategy From The Army Field Manual of Military Operationsposted by Anna Mar, January 27, 2013
Business isn't war. It's far a more civilized activity that creates value instead of destroying.
Business and war do have one significant thing in common: they are both intensely competitive. No matter what your business, there is a battle-ready competitor out there who's ready to take your customers.
Business has always looked to military thought for strategy and tactics.
The following 9 principles of strategy are taken from the United States Army Field Manual of Military Operations. They are largely based on the ideas of renown military theorist Carl von Clausewitz.
1. ObjectivesEvery operation must have a clearly defined and actionable objective (goal).
Even minor initiatives and quick-wins must have objectives.
Never forget that no military leader has ever become great without audacity.The offensive (attack) is considered the primary means of achieving victory.
~ Karl Von Clausewitz
Like war, business can't be won on defense alone. The successful business takes the initiative to achieve objectives with the aggressive use of its resources.
3. MassConcentrate your resources at the right time and place for maximum effect.
The mass principle suggests that businesses should focus resources — to hit the market with the right product at the right time.
4. Economy of Force
Every unnecessary expenditure of time, every unnecessary detour, is a waste of power, and therefore contrary to the principles of strategy.
~ Carl von Clausewitz
Resources should deployed for maximum effect. No resource should be left without a purpose. The resources used to achieve secondary objectives should be minimized. The allocation of resources should be continually measured and optimized.
5. ManeuverDefeat an adversary by moving quickly and intelligently. Incapacitate their decision-making capabilities by surprising them with your movements.
6. Unity of CommandResponsibilities must be clear.
Every objective must be the responsibility of exactly one commander.
7. SecurityProtect your resources. Never permit your competitor to achieve a surprise advantage.
8. SurpriseStrike at a time, place and manner that is likely to surprise the competition.
9. Simplicity of Order
Everything in war is simple, but the simplest thing is difficult. The difficulties accumulate and end by producing a kind of friction that is inconceivable unless one has experienced war.Make your orders simple, concise, clear and uncomplicated. Complex instructions are likely to be misunderstood, mismanaged or botched.
~ Karl von Clausewitz
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