Especially for SME’s – 54: Where only to do?

24 August 2022


Mr. Lowe: We have finished step 2 of formulating a strategy for execution. We have found what only to do and not what all to do!

SME 3: Can you explain with an example.

Mr. Lowe: See in Mahabharat, how Krishna reduces the bigger than Pandava’s Kaurava army to just 4 individuals- Bhishma, Drona, Karna and Duryodhan. By including Duryodhan in this short list, Krishna does not bring his own likes and dislikes as he obviously did not like Duryodhan. He was considering only the capabilities – the one relevant factor in a war. Krishna acknowledges the strength even in a wicked individual, he does not mix up things! Also note how even out of these 4, he chooses one at a time, one after the other and not all at a time.

SME 2: There is so much for strategy and Management in Mahabharat!

Mr. Lowe: Now we can move on to step 3 of formulating a strategy: This step is choosing where only to do.

SME 1: We cannot do the chosen what only wherever we want; you are telling there is a sensitive space like a sensitive what.

Mr. Lowe: Yes, exactly. There is only one right place to do what you have chosen to do.

See how Israel chose the right place to hit when it waged a war against a massively larger country compared to its own size and won! Israel first chose just one out of so many air bases of the Egyptian air force, the Cairo air base, to hit. By asking the question where only to hit once again Israel found the right place within the Cairo air base. A few suggestions came up: The radars, the ammunition dump, the hangers and the air strip came out as the vital few places for consideration. But what is the bottleneck place and why that place are the two questions that remained to be answered.

By putting the same question and pitting one against the other these vital few places, or by using the Table Method, Israel came out with the air strip as the bottleneck place. This is because, Israel thought rightfully that even if only a few Egyptian air force planes take off, it would prove too dangerous for Israel. However, if the air strip is demolished, and if it would take at least a few weeks for restoration of normal operations from the Cairo air base, Israel would get a great advantage militarily and politically. With this decision and action, all the fighters in the Cairo air base, the largest air base in the country, became sitting ducks!

We have to keep repeating the question “where only” a few times to zero in on the one right place from among the vital few places.

SME 3: Can you give examples from Mahabharat? ……….contd.


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