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Business And Non Business Novel Synthesis

1721 words - 7 pages

War in the Office:
A comparison of “Art of War” and “Drive: The Surprising Truth about What Motivates Us”.
Many major theories and teachings from the non-business world can be learned and successfully applied just as effectively as those skills learned in the business work place. I became more and more convinced of this statement after reading two relatively similar books on the topics of War and personal success. Although both topics seem farfetched and distant from each other they happen to contain a lot of similar themes and ideas. Contrary to what the title suggests, the main point of the “Art of War” is to convince readers that in times of war or conflict, information and knowledge ...view middle of the document...

Both books are, in a way, guiding readers to ultimate success through advice.

Both Sun Tzu and Daniel Pink discuss several similar topics, on which they have both similar and contrasting ideas. Early on in Sun Tzu’s novel it is apparent that Tzu believes that warfare is the greatest affair of the state and is a critical topic that must be analyzed thoroughly. He offers several recommendations on warfare tactics and urges readers to think analytically and critically about the several aspect of war. One piece of advice that I found to be particularly intriguing is contained in the following quote from Tzu; “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.” Its advice like this that drives the novel forward and creates a central argument that war and conflict is a subject that is as complex as any. Similarly in Pink’s “Drive” he argues that the process of work is important but he states that the final product and results should be a business’s core focus. Pink also deals out recommendations for business owners such as “Let your staff spend 20% of their time working on what they want to”. Just like Tzu, Pink believes that the process of creating a product is imperative to study, analyze, and manipulate in order to obtain optimal results. Tzu goes on to argue that War is waged on orthodox strategies and won with unorthodox strategies. In some ways Daniel Pink would also agree with this statement. This can be seen when Pink discusses the different forms and types of management in his novel. Pink claims that most businesses are run under a similar philosophy of “carrots and sticks”. In other words, motivators are put in place for both stellar work and poor performance. Pink describes this system as “management 2.0” and he argues that it is inferior to his proposal, which he calls “management 3.0”. Pink uses the example of Google and the freedom they give to their employees. He claims that by giving employees more freedom they become more independent with their work and are more inwardly motivated. While both Tzu and Pink go into great detail on the process of work there is a big difference in their views of the results and what a business should focus on. Tzu argues that “great” victories only come with “great” preparation and planning. On the other hand Daniel Pink claims that businesses must focus on results more than they focus on the process of work in order to be ultimately successful. Tzu would definitely argue against this point as can be seen in the following quote “If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat”. In a broad sense of speaking, Tzu is trying to convince readers that researching all inputs of a conflict is imperative to gaining a successful victory. Both authors...

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