Sun Tzu on Strategy
Sun Tzu postulated two forces--the Zheng element, which fixes the enemy in place, and the Qi element, which flanks or encircles the enemy, either actually or psychologically. The Zheng (ordinary) force is direct and more obvious, while the Qi (extraordinary) is indirect, unexpected, distracting, or unorthodox. Using both elements ensures that decisive blows will fall where the enemy does not anticipate them, and is least prepared.
The two factors are fluid. History shows many examples when what is Zheng becomes Qi, and Qi becomes Zheng.
[The text above is drawn directly from Bevin Alexander, How Wars are Won. Qi is sometimes spelled ch'i, and zheng is sometimes spelled as cheng.]
When strategy is in place, the organization sits in a position the Sun Tzu called shih. Sun Tzu's army did not have a specific program or plan, but understood the compeititive landscape and all of its options. As the battle begins, decision-makers high and low know what to do as each contingency plays out.
Strategy is, simply, the art and science of options.Itis a matter of understanding current options, creating new options, and choosing among them.
Strategic decision-making involves thinking about the long-term course one will take through a broad comptitive landscape. Strategy provides the direction for operations. Operational planning and decision-making, in turn guides the tactical decisions made in the heat of battle.