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Globe and Mail: Look beyond your own battlefield

Jun 30, 2001, 15:00 (9 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Gordon Pitts)

Business consultant Bolko von Oetinger, a student of military and business strategy, says that business can learn a few lessons from the principles of warfare -- most notably in the idea that managers must be able to improvise in the face of changing circumstances. He suggests that Linux is a prime model for how business must reevaluate old practices.

"War, Mr. [Bolko] von Oetinger says, does provide a context to study strategy in action. Military strategy, like business strategy, is all about intelligent opponents clashing and making decisions in an uncertain environment...."

"One such terrorist group for software suppliers is the loosely affiliated network of techies who collaborate on Linux software. They're subversive because they develop free software that undermines the stuff their own companies pay good money for."

"Mr. von Oetinger suggests that software and systems suppliers should look closely at this enemy within and listen instead of fight, perhaps by offering products that allow these users to configure their own systems, as Linux encourages them to do."

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