Philosophy Thriving

Sun Tzu and Group Strategy

October 24, 2012

Sun Tzu, the ancient Chinese military strategist, wrote that, “He will win whose army is animated by the same spirit throughout all its ranks.”

Although running a medical group just sometimes seems like war, the essence of that advice is completely applicable.

Too often treating all group physicians as colleagues entitled to a high degree of autonomy, groups sometimes ignore the fact that, to succeed, all group members, from the leader to the junior most member, must conduct themselves in alignment with the group’s overall strategy.

Of course, this is obvious to everyone in the context of everyday, “real world,” interactions. Consider, for example, your inclination to return to a restaurant after receiving inattentive service from a waiter who was obviously simply going through the paces, or from one who, quite obviously, was unhappy working there.

Why would you think that it’s impossible that one or more of your group members are just going through the paces or, even worse, are signaling that they are unhappy?

What are they doing to your group’s ability to compete — even to your group’s ability to continue to exist?

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