The 9 Situations

What are the 9 situations?

Cubofruto framboiseThe 9 Situations derive from Sun Tzu’s timeless ancient classic, ‘The Art of War’, regarded as probably the greatest treatise on military strategy ever written

Any of the Situations described by Sun Tzu could be found within any organisation at different times, and each are briefly described in the table below:

1ST SITUATION: DISPERSIVE GROUND

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DESCRIPTOR

FIGHTING IN OWN TERRITORY (GROUND ALREADY WON)

KEY ACTIVITY

CAPITALISE

SUPPORTING ACTIONS

EXPLOIT.MANIPULATE.PROTECT.AUGMENT. MAXIMISE

2ND SITUATION: FACILE GROUND

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DESCRIPTOR

WHEN PENETRATION INTO HOSTILE TERRITORY ACHIEVED, BUT TO NO GREAT DISTANCE

KEY ACTIVITY

REINFORCE

SUPPORTING ACTIONS

DEVELOP.STRENGTHEN.REINFORCE.AMPLIFY. ENLARGE.

3RD SITUATION: CONTENTIOUS GROUND

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DESCRIPTOR

POSSESSION OF THIS IS OF GREAT ADVANTAGE TO WHOEVER HOLDS IT (SUN TSU QUOTES A RIVER OR NARROW PASS)

KEY ACTIVITY

MAXIMISE

SUPPORTING ACTIONS

CAPITALISE.NEGOTIATE.BARGAIN.DEALMAKER.EXPLOIT.

4TH SITUATION: OPEN GROUND

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DESCRIPTOR

EACH SIDE HAS LIBERTY OF MOVEMENT

KEY ACTIVITY

 STANDARD/ PACE SETTING

SUPPORTING ACTIONS

INNOVATE. MODERNISE.EXEMPLAR LEAD. DIFFERENTIATE.

5TH SITUATION: CONTIGUOUS GROUND

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DESCRIPTOR

THE TERRITORY ADJOINS THE ENEMY AND ANOTHER, INTERSECTING GROUND

KEY ACTIVITY

NEGOTIATE

SUPPORTING ACTIONS

BUILD ALLIANCES. WEAKEN COMPETITION. BARGAIN. COLLABORATE.

6TH SITUATION: SERIOUS GROUND

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DESCRIPTOR

WHEN PENETRATED INTO THE HEART OF HOSTILE TERRITORY

KEY ACTIVITY

ESCALATE

SUPPORTING ACTIONS

ATTACK DIFFERENTLY/OFTEN. PRIORITISE RESOURCES. UNDERMINE. PROTECT GAINS.EXPAND.

7TH SITUATION: DIFFICULT GROUND

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DESCRIPTOR

TERRITORY THAT IS HARD TO TRAVERSE, OBSTRUCTED OR TAXING TO WIN

KEY ACTIVITY

MOMENTUM

SUPPORTING ACTIONS

MAINTAIN PROGRESSION. MOTIVATE.DRIVE PROPULSION.DEFEND GAINS.INSPIRE.

8TH SITUATION: HEMMED-IN GROUND

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DESCRIPTOR

SURROUNDED SITUATION WHERE A LARGER FORCE MAY BE ENCOUNTERED (POSSIBLY UNDER ATTACK)

KEY ACTIVITY

DEFEND/RESIST

SUPPORTING ACTIONS

WITHSTAND.CONFRONT.ATTACK/SIEZE UNGUARDED SPOTS. MAXIMISE STRENGTHS. ENCOURAGE.

9TH SITUATION: DESPERATE GROUND

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DESCRIPTOR

A SWIFT BATTLE IS NECESSARY FOR SURVIVAL AS A DELAY COULD RESULT IN EXTINCTION

KEY ACTIVITY

FIGHT

SUPPORTING ACTIONS

CHALLENGE.OVERCOME.UNIFY. REINFORCE. PROTECT. MAINTAIN IMPULSION AND MORALE.