The Annotated Art of War (Parts 7.23-26: Signs and Signals)
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Annotated Art of War > Parts 7.23-26: Signs and Signals
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|Sun Tzu said:
23. The Book of Army Management says: On the field of battle, the spoken word
does not carry far enough: hence the institution of gongs and drums. Nor can
ordinary objects be seen clearly enough: hence the institution of banners and
always been a problem. Historically, this has been done by runners
and signals. Even today, if electronic communications fail then
simpler fall-back methods must be employed.
communication may pass through many channels. It is not enough to
think that a simple email will suffice.
|24. Gongs and drums, banners and flags, are means whereby the ears and eyes
of the host may be focused on one particular point.
||If you want many
people to be able to understand a communication, it must be
broadcast in a way that they can all sense and understand.
Communication is what people understand, not what is transmitted.
Of course you also have to take into account the possibility of
the enemy understanding and responding to your signals. This is why
they are often sent in code.
Loud and visible communications are effective in business where
there are many distractions. This method can be used for both
employees and customers.
|25. The host thus forming a single united body, is it impossible either for
the brave to advance alone, or for the cowardly to retreat alone. This is the
art of handling large masses of men.
||When people form a
group, they act as a 'herd', along with the herd mentality that
impels them to act in the same way as others around them.
Hence a large group can be moved by a small group within. This is
how leadership can happen.
26. In night-fighting, then, make much use of signal-fires and drums, and in
fighting by day, of flags and banners, as a means of influencing the ears and
eyes of your army.
communication is appropriate to the context. The bottom line is that
whatever the situation, your troops must be able to hear and act on