The three major categories of WAR IS MY BUSINESS encompass a particular thesis, that lessons derived from humanity's propensity towards organized conflict can be applied to the business world. Through the development of a strong foundation based on the laws of nature, we discover how the universe builds our world, how our world shapes life, how life evolves humanity, how humanity perceives its environment, and how it shapes its environment and builds societies accordingly to this these perceptions. The extension of this perception leads humanity on the path of conflict; against itself and the environment, in order to shape conditions to the benefit of those partaking in that conflict. Heuristics provide them a simplistic, yet functional, understanding of the world and their place, however, as a result, conflict arises in which the threat or use of violence ultimately seeks to clarify the problem; often with mixed results.
While we can find innumerable examples from all human endeavors that can be applied to business theory, why do we focus on appropriating principles and tenets found within warfare and conflict? The reason why, is because the consequences of failure are severe; victory or defeat, life or death, honor or shame, freedom or subjugation. Because of this severity, emphasis on readiness, planning, preparation and the eventual conduct of warfare are of the utmost concern, and have been studied for the entire length of humanity's written history. Organized conflict and single combat (between individuals) are the environments in which principles and tenets of human engagements are put to the test; a survival of the fit. Those that are successful are recorded in annals and are taught to students of that discipline while those that fail become cautionary tales to future generations. But while the purpose of applying violence to achieve one's ends may appear to be dissimilar to that of business the only reason this is so is because of the ways and means used. In the end, all human endeavors achieve one thing, and that is to influence other human beings and our environments to our benefit.
By studying principles and tenets of martial leaders, their writings, and the conduct and results of well-documented battles we can begin to see common threads. These commonalities, when broken down to that common denominator of how humans perceive and act on that perception, we can then derive principles and tenets to guide business theory. In the way Miyamoto Musashi, a heralded Japanese swordsmen from the 17th Century, was able to defeat more than 60 foes in single combat, so too can a business person learn from him and successfully argue their position in meetings or negotiate better terms for their company. In the way George Washington, American Revolutionary War General of the 18th Century, was able to motivate and keep alive the strength of his beleaguered army, so too can the chief executive motivate their staff and employees in a downturn economy to continue to strive for excellence and turn their business back towards profits.
The application of military theory, principles, and tenets derived from writings, leaders, and battles towards the improvement of existing businesses is one of innovation. Successful businesses, in many ways, mirror the organizational structure and culture of successful military organizations. It is no coincidence that in the business sector, many martial terms are used to describe the attributes they undertake. Marketing campaigns, hostile takeovers, mission statements, and strategic vision to name a few. These words, through their constant use, have become ingrained in the lexicon of business, but historically have found their origin in the realm of warfare. While WAR IS MY BUSINESS, pragmatically-speaking, is a tool for innovating businesses through the study of human conflict, and its many facets, it is also at its heart the study of the human condition. Why we do what we do, and how we can learn from this in unique and unorthodox ways.