Decoding The Thirty-Six Stratagems with Kaihan Krippendorff

“Strategic Mastery Unveiled: Decoding The Thirty-Six Stratagems with Prof. Kaihan Krippendorff”

Description: Explore the fascinating world of strategic thinking with Professor Kaihan Krippendorff, a renowned Columbia Business School expert and OutThinker Network’s founder. In this enlightening 4-part podcast series, Prof. Krippendorff delves into the timeless wisdom of The Thirty-Six Stratagems, an ancient Chinese text offering a toolkit for creative thinking in various contexts.

Uncover the strategic brilliance of historical military geniuses like Genghis Khan, Alexander the Great, and Napoleon Bonaparte, who achieved victories through strength and creativity. Prof. Krippendorff shares how The Thirty-Six Stratagems, a compilation of metaphors, provides a comprehensive vocabulary of competition, unveiling unexpected plans for success in negotiations, mergers, and more since 2003.

In Part 1, explore the origin story of The Thirty-Six Stratagems and gain insights into the first four laws, including the powerful concept of Yin Yang Polarity. Discover how embracing balance and complexity can give your business a competitive edge.

Part 2 delves into Wu Wei, or “going with the flow,” as Prof. Krippendorff shares real-world applications of the first fourteen stratagems. Learn to catch your competitors off-guard, stage small attacks for strategic insights, and seize opportunities in moments of apparent weakness.

Part 3 introduces Wu Chang, emphasizing the importance of continuous change. Understand the difference between Eastern and Western views of change and explore how companies like Qualcomm, Whole Foods, and Walmart make decisions that lead to initial losses but set the stage for future victories.

Finally, in Part 4, delve into Shang Bing Wu Bing, the art of indirect action. Prof. Krippendorff unravels the mysteries behind the last seven stratagems, revealing how companies like Legend (Lenovo), Logitech, and others have strategically navigated alliances, created facades, and leveraged indirect actions for success.

Join us on this strategic journey as we unlock the secrets of The Thirty-Six Stratagems and apply ancient wisdom to modern business challenges. Don’t miss this enlightening series that promises to reshape your approach to strategy and innovation. Subscribe now for a masterclass in strategic thinking!

Find Kaihan here:

Conquering Uncertainty _ Thedore Modis

Conquering Uncertainty – Theodore Modis Part 4


Welcome to the finale of the Theodore Modis podcast series. In this insightful episode titled “Conquering Uncertainty: Understanding Corporate Cycles and Positioning Your Company to Survive the Changing Environment,” our guest, the author of “Conquering Uncertainty: Understanding Corporate Cycles and Positioning Your Company to Survive the Changing Environment,” delves into the science of anticipating turning points in business with precision.

The discussion explores the natural pattern of substitutions in markets, emphasizing the importance of understanding S-shaped patterns in transitions between products, services, and technologies. The podcast highlights the significance of recognizing low-growth periods during major business transitions and the pitfalls of wishful thinking in minimizing these phases.

Drawing parallels to the natural seasons, the podcast breaks down the business cycle into Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall/Autumn. Each season is characterized by unique challenges and opportunities, offering valuable insights for executives navigating their companies through various stages. The metaphor is extended to the BCG Matrix, providing a fresh perspective on growth dynamics.

Listeners are treated to a detailed exploration of each season, from the survival-focused Winter to the strategic excellence of Summer, and the introspective, transformative aspects of Fall/Autumn. The episode discusses the author’s new BCG Matrix version, aligning it with the metaphor of seasons to provide a comprehensive understanding of business evolution over time.

The podcast concludes with a thought-provoking discussion on the right strategies for different seasons, including divestment and acquisition strategies during periods of chaos and abundance. The guest shares insights on DEC’s management decisions during challenging times, emphasizing the need for adaptability and transformation in the face of economic downturns.

Join us in this engaging episode as we unravel the mysteries of corporate cycles and gain valuable insights from the author of “Conquering Uncertainty: Understanding Corporate Cycles and Positioning Your Company to Survive the Changing Environment.” Thank you for tuning in!

00:00:00.000 Introduction and Quote on Conquering Uncertainty
00:02:33.238 Just-in-Time Action and its Evolution
00:04:43.489 Using Seasons as an Analogy for Segmenting the Life Cycle
00:07:04.093 Selection Process and Hiring the Right People for Winter
00:09:02.723 Graphical Illustration of Horses and Cars Substitution
00:11:32.271 Splitting of Arthur Anderson and the Seasons of an Organization
00:14:34.757 The Need for Differentiation to Influence S-Curve Evolution
00:18:53.655 The Concept of Seasons in the Business Environment
00:21:08.212 Exploring the Characteristics of Winter in an Organization
00:22:21.956 The Power of Redesign and Fundamental Change
00:24:18.095 Transitioning from Winter to Spring: Nursing and Continuous Improvement
00:27:19.426 Drifting from Spring to Summer: Specialists to Bureaucrats
00:34:03.063 Understanding the different aspects of summer in business growth.
00:45:07.259 The Challenge of Company Reorganization

Find Theodore here:

An S-Shaped Adventure Part 3 with Theodore Modis

In today’s episode, we continue our exploration of the groundbreaking work of Theodore Modis as we delve into “An S-Shaped Adventure Part 3.”

In this installment, we tackle the concept of “Just-In-Time Replacement,” a strategy near and dear to marketers’ hearts. Discover the delicate balance between launching new products too closely together, potentially frustrating customers, and delaying replacements, risking a loss of market share to competitors. We explore the critical question: When is the optimal moment to introduce change in an ongoing natural growth process?

We break down the science behind the “cascading S-curves,” revealing the quantitative rule for achieving just-in-time product replacement. Explore how these nested S-curves influence industries, product families, and basic technologies, with each level sharing a common life cycle pattern but differing in duration.

Delve into various scenarios, including the lifecycles of products, product families, basic technologies, and the overarching economy. Understand the power of estimating overall saturation from life-cycle trends, providing insights into the growth potential of various entities within the market.

The episode explores the author’s experiences in analyzing S-curves in different industries, from aircraft to DEC, offering valuable insights into the dynamics of market evolution.

We unravel the intriguing Volterra-Lotka equation, which mathematically represents predator-prey interactions and their effects on the dynamics of ecosystems. We discuss how this equation relates to the business world and the actions companies can take to alter their competitive landscape.

Explore various types of interactions between species and industries, from pure competition to predator-prey relationships, and understand how these dynamics play out in the business world.

The episode takes a deep dive into the concept of competition management and how the nature of competition can be transformed over time. Discover fascinating real-world examples of shifts in competitive roles and how they impact industries and products.

Find Theodore here:

00:00:00.000 Ponderings and Recap: S-Curves and Rabbit Metaphor
00:02:56.574 Genetic Modification of Business and Advertising Strategies
00:05:46.855 Optimum Time to Launch a Replacement Product and Harmonic Oscillator
00:10:34.227 Advice for Innovators Joining a Company
00:12:28.591 Understanding Nested S Curves and Product Life Cycles
00:21:40.995 Strategy department’s role in analyzing and giving orders
00:23:31.432 Different types of relationships in business dynamics explained
00:32:13.713 Exploring New Topics and Directions

An S-Shaped Adventure Part 2 with Theodore Modis

In today’s podcast, we’re delving deeper into the follow-up to the groundbreaking book, “Predictions: Society’s Telltale Signature Reveals the Past and Forecasts the Future.” This sequel takes us on an exciting journey, offering a fresh perspective on understanding society and ourselves by employing scientific principles to forecast social phenomena. But that’s not all; we’re also tackling the daring task of revisiting the predictions made two decades ago and comparing them to real-world data—a step forecasters typically shy away from. And to sweeten the deal, this book introduces many new, relevant topics that have emerged recently. Stay tuned for an enlightening exploration of these intriguing insights!

Find Theodore here:

00:00:00.355 Introduction and Recap of Part One
00:02:00.301 Growth Potential in China and India
00:10:23.649 Synthetic Rubber: Exceptional Growth During the War
00:12:32.440 Anticipating New Product Introductions and Disease Trajectories
00:15:45.440 Cardiovascular vs. Cancer: Competing Diseases
00:17:49.360 Competing Travel Means: Cars, Trains, and Planes
00:20:01.429 Competition for Energy: Fuel and Share Growth
00:22:13.924 The Fuel Conundrum: Fluctuations and Fracking
00:25:08.739 The Succession of S-curves in Energy Consumption
00:27:17.544 Subjective vs Concrete Variables in Econometrics
00:28:49.043 The Breakdown of Data Agreement in Electricity Production

An S-Shaped Adventure 1 with Theodore Modis

Today’s book is a stand-alone sequel to “Predictions: Society’s Telltale Signature Reveals the Past and Forecasts the Future”, which provided a new way of understanding society and ourselves by applying scientific concepts to predicting social phenomena. In addition to taking up the challenge of confronting the predictions made 20 years ago with actual data-something, forecasters generally refrain from doing so; the book includes many new topics that became relevant more recently. 

Yossi Sheffi – The Magic Conveyor Belt Part 3

In 2020, the World Economic Forum estimated that AI might destroy 85 million jobs by 2025. A 2022 study by the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that between 9 and 47% of jobs could be automated, particularly jobs requiring lower education levels or more routine tasks. Not surprisingly, workers, particularly low-skilled ones, perceive automation—specifically robots—as threatening their jobs. Fear and resentment toward job-stealing machines are not new. Throughout the series of overlapping industrial revolutions in history, many jobs were indeed diminished or replaced by machines. Yet, other jobs were created over time. Prof Yossi Sheffi shares his thoughts on the future of work and workers. We welcome back Professor Yossi Sheffi for the finale of our series on his book, “The Magic Conveyor Belt: Supply Chains, A.I., and The Future of Work.”


00:00:00.000 The Impact of Automation on Jobs
00:02:39.488 The Fifth Industrial Revolution and Amplifying Human Creativity
00:03:46.708 Job Creation and Unemployment Rates
00:06:23.573 The Slow Pace of Job Displacement and Regulation
00:09:00.668 Technology Always Wins, Companies Must Invest in Workers’ Skills
00:11:47.371 Negotiating for Skill Upgrades in the Advanced AI World
00:14:13.311 Regulation as a Short-Term Game, Reinvesting in Skills
00:16:12.024 The Impact of Automation on Logistics Jobs
00:17:26.473 The Rise of Autonomous Tracking and Workforce Preparation
00:19:36.312 The Impact of Model T on Job Creation
00:21:40.769 The Three Stages of Job Transformation: De-skilling, Scaling, Elimination
00:24:40.238 Job Changes and Creation in Automation
00:27:13.249 AI and Automation: Journalists’ Fears and Future Job Opportunities
00:35:49.159 The Importance of Purpose After Retirement
00:36:50.790 The Importance of Investing in the Future
00:40:07.188 Staying Relevant in an Evolving Job Market
00:44:16.591 The Social Dimension of Automated Jobs
00:47:35.298 Embracing Change and Adapting to Working with Machines


That HBR article Yossi mentions:

Yossi Sheffi – The Magic Conveyor Belt Part 2

Part 2 covers the “Further Complexity and Challenges” of supply chains, and you explore how the last 50 years have added even more complexity. This part covers the rising demand for goods and the increasing consumer expectations for fast, perfect delivery services.

00:00:00.751 Introduction: Further Complexity and Challenges in Supply Chains
00:01:41.748 The Evolution of Industrial Revolutions
00:14:39.859 Short-term Focus of Wall Street and Cost Cutting
00:16:51.371 Ethical Companies with Veto Power in Supply Chain
00:19:05.497 Complexity of Supply Chain Leads to Lack of Transparency
00:22:18.074 The Hidden Structure of Supply Chains Revealed
00:22:58.371 Supplier Secrecy and Business Management
00:24:55.140 The Horsemeat Scandal: Lack of Awareness
00:26:35.611 IKEA’s Past Controversies and Sustainability Efforts
00:29:55.209 The Function of Free Trade Zones
00:35:23.620 The Dilemma of Climate Change and Consumer Behavior
00:39:22.406 VUCA: Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity in Supply Chains
00:41:55.300 Moving Final Production Step to Vietnam for Political Reasons
00:42:27.457 Environmental concerns and reliance on Chinese materials
00:45:22.956 Costly Investments in Emergency Operations and Drills
00:48:11.291 The Success Story of Private Equity and Innovation
00:50:47.965 The Bullwhip Effect: Supplier Reactions and Market Fluctuations

Mentioned by Yossi:

In a visit to MIT, FedEx founder Frederick Smith shares thoughts on innovation:


Yossi Sheffi – The Magic Conveyor Belt Part 1

Today’s book explains why supply chains are complicated to operate (and getting more challenging!). Fortunately, future managers can employ a combination of suitably educated employees and digital technology to manage ever-higher complexity successfully.

People and companies can use digital technologies to make themselves more efficient and more effective in addressing the expanding and changing needs of the planet.

Our guest is the author of a 1985 textbook on transportation networks and eight management books dealing with supply chain resilience, sustainability, and industrial clustering; we welcome the author of The Magic Conveyor Belt: Supply Chains, A.I., and The Future of Work, we welcome Professor Yossi Sheffi.


00:00:00.067 The Challenges of Operating Supply Chains
00:03:23.626 The Complexity of Supply Chains and Appreciation for Efforts
00:05:21.979 The Complexity of Global Supply Chains
00:06:57.421 Complexity of Supply Chains in Automobile Industry
00:13:35.997 The Surprising Complexity of the Banana Supply Chain
00:18:23.385 The Supply Chain: Synchronizing Supply and Demand
00:24:35.818 Unforeseen Impacts: How Disruptions Ripple Through the Chain
00:30:00.944 Supply Chain Managers: Victims of their own Success
00:32:40.419 Insights on Outsourcing and Offshoring in China
00:33:34.670 China’s Rise as a Manufacturing Powerhouse
00:38:56.587 Mysterious Fibers Replacing Materials in Airplanes
00:39:11.269 China’s Dominance in Bonding Agents and Rare Earth Materials
00:40:52.177 The Unpleasant Choices in Balancing Priorities
00:43:40.989 Outsourcing, Offshoring, and the Complexity of Supply Chains
00:51:38.755 The Complex and Efficient Manufacturing of Cheap T-Shirts
00:53:42.528 Conspicuous Consumption and Food Waste in the United States

Picking Presidents with Gautam Mukunda

Gautam Mukunda is an internationally recognized expert in leadership and innovation. He often jokes that his life’s ambition is to have the world’s most confusing resume and that he’s most of the way there. Gautam is a Research Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Center for Public Leadership, Senior Advisor to America’s Frontier Fund, the author of Indispensable: When Leaders Really Matter (Harvard Business Review Press, 2012) and Picking Presidents: How To Make The Most Consequential Decision in the World (University of California Press, 2022), and the host of Nasdaq’s podcast World Reimagined with Gautam Mukunda.

Gautam has been a professor at Harvard Business School and Distinguished Visiting Professor at Schwarzman College, Tsinghua University. He was Head of Research at Rose Park Advisors, a specialized investment firm founded by his mentor Clayton Christensen, that invests using the theories of disruptive innovation. He has published articles in Harvard Business Review, Foreign Policy, Security Studies, Slate, Fast Company, Parameters, Politics and the Life Sciences, and Systems and Synthetic Biology on topics including leadership, reforming the financial sector, military innovation, network-centric warfare, the security and economic implications of synthetic biology, and the TV show Mad Men. His work has been profiled in the New York Times, Atlantic, New Yorker, Economist, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, and on All Things Considered. He is the Exclusive Leadership Consultant to U.S. Soccer.




Pivot to the Future with Paul Nunes Part 7

To truly profit from disruption, an enterprise must be prepared to manage increasingly short windows of profitability, scaling up rapidly as customers embrace the new all at once, then scaling down nearly as fast when demand declines. Paul Nunes is the global managing director for thought leadership at Accenture Research. He leads the company in developing ground-breaking insights into technology and strategic business change. He is co-author of three books, Big Bang Disruption: Strategy in the Age of Devastating Innovation, Jumping the S-Curve: How to Beat the Growth Cycle, Get on Top, and Stay There, and Mass Affluence: 7 New Rules of Marketing to Today’s Consumers. It has been an absolute pleasure learning from him.


00:00:00.256 Introduction and Overview of the Series Finale
00:11:25.254 Creating a Company that Values Innovators
00:16:20.936 Balancing Wall Street Expectations and Innovation Goals
00:18:31.172 Jeff Bezos’ Approach to Investor Relations
00:21:14.030 Managing Wall Street vs Managing to Wall Street
00:22:46.440 Effective Communication and Leadership in Challenging Times
00:32:40.338 Predicting Heart Attacks and Improving Sleep Patterns
00:36:12.004 The Profound Importance of Cell Phones
00:40:47.441 Companies Breaking New Ground through Strategies and Resource Allocation
00:45:35.337 Jio’s success in leveraging 4G technology
00:48:06.392 Final thoughts

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