Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Case Study 1 - Supermarket Chain (第二集)

Topic: Corporate Turnaround
Business: Supermarket Chain
Type: Retail
Place: Pahang, Malaysia
Annual Turnover: < RM10 million

Issue & Problem 1: Nepotism

Planning is the most crucial part before anything begins (though I've experienced that lots of companies are not doing so, some even have claimed that as "lenghty process"). Sun Tzu's first chapter taught "Calculation" (计).

Sun Tzu said, "The art of war is of vital importance to the State. "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."[1]

《孫子兵法》 第一篇 始计篇


In other words, in reality, it's a matter of vital importance to the Company; A matter of values to the shareholders and/or investors; A matter of values to the Customers; A matter of human needs to the employees. Therefore, studies and analyses (e.g. SWOT analysis, Competitive analysis etc.) ought to be taken place before laying plans (e.g. Corporate Business Plan) and implementation (e.g. BSC).

If a General "blindly" instructed his men to "blindly" go into a war zone without any study on their opponent, failure is inevitable!

Organizing energies was the next step taken. Having said that, several teams were divided "correctly" later then led and controlled "them". Opportunities (or room) to perform had been granted to every employee. This was a way to "save face" in a matter of Asian context so that an opponent can accept a loss without further conflict or disgrace. "A desperate foe would fight back when you preferred that he surrender."[1]

As Sun Tzu taught, "When you surround an army, leave an outlet free. Do not press a desperate foe too hard."[1]

《孫子兵法》 第三篇 谋攻篇


[1] Robert L. Cantrell (2003), Understanding Sun Tzu on The Art of War: "The Oldest Military Treatise in the World", USA, ISBN 0-9722914-0-7


Jack Chong said...

That's right, preparation must be done, then take action plan. But, a lot of company doesn't do this.

Ms Wong said...

I agree, company maybe feel that doing planning is wasting of time.

Anonymous said...

Yes! One of our top management commented to our consultant that Strategic Planning is a "lenghty process" to them, where they do not have their "valuable" time to sit down and analyse their failure.

Yet, they blamed their failure to external factor which is beyond their control.

Kenneth Soo said...

I do agree, many companies are having the same "planning" issues.

Kenneth Soo said...

I do agree, many companies are having the same "planning" issues.

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