Six Hats, Six Coats and Sun Tzu

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From Sun Tzu on the The Art of War

I. LAYING PLANS

1. Sun Tzu said: The art of war is of vital importance to the State.

2. It is a matter of life and death, a road either to safety or to ruin. Hence it is a subject of inquiry which can on no account be neglected.

3. The art of war, then, is governed by five constant factors, to be taken into account in one’s deliberations, when seeking to determine the conditions obtaining in the field.

4. These are: (1) The Moral Law; (2) Heaven; (3) Earth; (4) The Commander; (5) Method and discipline.

5,6. The Moral Law causes the people to be in complete accord with their ruler, so that they will follow him regardless of their lives, undismayed by any danger.

7. Heaven signifies night and day, cold and heat, times and seasons.

8. Earth comprises distances, great and small; danger and security; open ground and narrow passes; the chances of life and death.

9. The Commander stands for the virtues of wisdom, sincerely, benevolence, courage and strictness.

10. By method and discipline are to be understood the marshaling of the army in its proper subdivisions, the graduations of rank among the officers, the maintenance of roads by which supplies may reach the army, and the control of military expenditure.

11. These five heads should be familiar to every general: he who knows them will be victorious; he who knows them
not will fail.

12. Therefore, in your deliberations, when seeking to determine the military conditions, let them be made the basis of a comparison, in this wise:–

13. (1) Which of the two sovereigns is imbued with the Moral law?
(2) Which of the two generals has most ability?
(3) With whom lie the advantages derived from Heaven and Earth?
(4) On which side is discipline most rigorously enforced?
(5) Which army is stronger?
(6) On which side are officers and men more highly trained?
(7) In which army is there the greater constancy both in reward and punishment?

14. By means of these seven considerations I can forecast victory or defeat.

15. The general that hearkens to my counsel and acts upon it, will conquer: let such a one be retained in command! The general that hearkens not to my counsel nor acts upon it, will suffer defeat:–let such a one be dismissed!

16. While heading the profit of my counsel, avail yourself also of any helpful circumstances over and beyond the ordinary rules.

17. According as circumstances are favorable, one should modify one’s plans.

18. All warfare is based on deception.

19. Hence, when able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must seem inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near.

20. Hold out baits to entice the enemy. Feign disorder, and crush him.

21. If he is secure at all points, be prepared for him. If he is in superior strength, evade him.

22. If your opponent is of choleric temper, seek to irritate him. Pretend to be weak, that he may grow arrogant.

23. If he is taking his ease, give him no rest. If his forces are united, separate them.

24. Attack him where he is unprepared, appear where you are not expected.

25. These military devices, leading to victory, must not be divulged beforehand.

26. Now the general who wins a battle makes many calculations in his temple ere the battle is fought. The general who loses a battle makes but few calculations beforehand. Thus do many calculations lead to victory, and few calculations to defeat: how much more no calculation at all! It is by attention to this point that I can foresee who is likely to win or lose.

Sun Tzu truly was one of the greatest minds in human history. He knew that a war was a collision between two systems. He had a firm grasp of the military as a system and had reduced it to its fundamental components.

  1. MOTIVE: Moral Law. Vision and Mission.
  2. LOCALE: Earth. Terrain.
  3. OBJECT: Discipline. Integrity.
  4. METHOD: Method. Training.
  5. PERSON: Commander. Organization.
  6. MOMENT: Heaven. Climate.

The correlation between the Six Coats and the Five Fundamental Factors is complete. Let’s take a look at Sun Tzu using the Six Hats, Six Coats Framework:

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A nice fit.

Six Hats, Six Coats and Sun Tzu

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Induce the Past, Deduce the Future (continued)

Inductive (Analysis) Pattern:

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Deductive (Design) Pattern:

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This assumes a top left, row by row, to bottom right path. As you can see, induction (analysis) instead of being relegated to a single phase is a methodology in its own right.  Also it should be recognized that Induction is a bottom up process, while Deduction is top down.

STL: The INTUIT Verb

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Since I created the Six Hats, Six Coats metaphor I have made several modifications to the language used. It has lead me to come up with what I call the Structured Thinking Language (STL). I am working on the syntax and will discuss this in later posts. The one term I want to draw attention to in this post is in the left column, the new verb “INTUIT”.

I have chosen the verb “INTUIT” first, because of Edward de Bono’s inspiring six thinking hats, second because I do not like the verb “develop”. To intuit is in part to provide the materials and know how to build the system based on the result of the REDUCE statement. The other part is consideration of the origins, physical and cultural development, biological characteristics, social customs and beliefs of the users to create affordances. The use of the term “affordance” is much broader than and includes Donald A. Norman’s usage in The Design of Everyday Things. In STL an “affordance” is synonymous to the Zachman Framework’s “focus”. A complete system is composed of motivational, spatial, formal, functional, personal and temporal affordances which are complete intuitively designed subsystems including the appropriate intuitive cues. I want to use a word that implies not only developing, but developing with the REDUCE result and the intuition of persons who interact with the system as primary considerations.