For those with access to the Wall St. Journal. Last Friday, Joe Queenan had what was supposed, I guess, to be a light and airy column, but I think it was quite profound. In fact, it may be the best column on business I’ve seen this year, those in this blog excepted, of course.
Here’s the last paragraph of “Cosmetic Change? Joe Queenan Wants Us to Get Real” (paywall):
So here’s my advice to airlines: If you want to make the public happy, try building planes designed to accommodate human beings. Try offering movies that someone has actually heard of. Try brewing coffee someone might want to drink. Try service with a smile.
So your exercise for the day is to interpret this in cheng / chi terms. To refresh your memory, here are a couple of quotes from Patterns:
Employ cheng and ch’i maneuvers to quickly and unexpectedly hurl strength against weaknesses. (13)
Cheng/ch’i maneuver schemes were employed by early commanders to expose adversary vulnerabilities and weaknesses (a la cheng) for exploitation and decisive stroke (via ch’i). (14)
And there’s always the sixth chapter of Certain to Win. Good luck!