15. Those who were called skillful leaders of old knew how to drive a wedge between the enemy’s front and rear; to prevent co-operation between his large and small divisions; to hinder the good troops from rescuing the bad, the officers from rallying their men.

所謂古之善用兵者能使敵人前後不相及衆寡不相恃貴賤不相救上下不相扶

Sun Tzu

Sun Tzu is describing tactics that skilled leaders can use to divide and conquer their enemies. He suggests that these leaders know how to create a gap or wedge between the enemy’s front and rear forces, which can disrupt the enemy’s ability to coordinate and work together. Additionally, Sun Tzu advises these leaders to prevent the enemy’s large and small divisions from collaborating and to block the good troops from coming to the aid of the bad ones, or the officers from rallying their men. Essentially, Sun Tzu is suggesting that skilled leaders can use tactics of division and disruption to weaken their enemy and gain an advantage in battle.

Skillful business leaders use division and disruption to weaken competitors and gain an advantage.

Using division and disruption as a business strategy involves taking actions that divide or disrupt the operations or cohesion of a competitor, with the goal of weakening them and gaining an advantage. There are several ways that a business leader might use division and disruption to achieve this goal:

  1. Identifying and exploiting weaknesses: By carefully analyzing a competitor’s operations and identifying areas of vulnerability or weakness, a business leader can take actions to exploit those weaknesses and gain an advantage. For example, if a competitor has a weak supply chain, a business leader might offer a more reliable and efficient supply chain as a way of drawing customers away from the competitor.
  2. Disrupting key partnerships: By disrupting key partnerships or collaborations that a competitor relies on, a business leader can weaken the competitor’s operations and gain an advantage. For example, if a competitor relies on a particular supplier for a key raw material, a business leader might try to lure that supplier away or disrupt the partnership in some other way.
  3. Undercutting prices: By offering lower prices than a competitor, a business leader can disrupt the competitor’s pricing strategy and gain an advantage. This can be particularly effective if the business leader is able to offer similar or better quality products at a lower price point.
  4. Creating confusion: By introducing new products or services that are similar to those offered by a competitor, a business leader can create confusion among customers and disrupt the competitor’s operations. This can be especially effective if the new products or services offer some advantage over the competitor’s offerings.
  5. Disrupting internal cohesion: By disrupting the internal cohesion or communication within a competitor’s organization, a business leader can weaken the competitor’s operations and gain an advantage. This might involve targeted marketing campaigns or other tactics that aim to sow discord or confusion within the competitor’s ranks.

Overall, using division and disruption as a business strategy involves taking actions that divide or disrupt the operations or cohesion of a competitor, with the goal of weakening them and gaining an advantage.