The autumn leaves are falling like rain. Although my neighbors are all barbarians and you, you are a thousand miles away, there are always two cups at my table.

T’ang Dynasty poem

Ten thousand flowers in spring, the moon in autumn, a cool breeze in summer, snow in winter. If your mind isn't clouded by unnecessary things, this is the best season of your life.

~ Wu-men ~


Thursday, April 06, 2006

The 36 Stategies: #14 Borrow a corpse to bring back a spirit


14. Borrow a corpse to bring back a spirit

You don't use what everyone else is using, but use what others aren't using. This can mean reviving something that has dropped out of use through neglect, or finding uses for things that had hitherto been ignored or considered useless.

It's not too hard to come up with some modern examples of this strategy. In recent times, the Detroit Tigers baseball club has been simply terrible. One of the reasons had been that the talent pool in their minor league farm clubs had dried up. What the franchise needed was time. They needed to keep getting people to watch games while the pipeline of talent began to refill.

"Borrow a corpse to bring back a spirit" was one of the reasons the Tigers brought in an inexperienced manager who happened to be a beloved member of the 1984 World Series team, Alan Trammel. By making that link to the past glory years, the Tiger's regained some goodwill with the local fans.

In the end, Trammel was fired. He had served his purpose though. Fans continued to come to the games. The pipeline has been refilled. A new manager with much greater experience is in place, and the Tigers today have much better prospects.

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