About Me

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I saw active service in conventional, clandestine and covert units of the South African Defence Force. I was the founder of the Private Military Company (PMC) Executive Outcomes in 1989 and its chairman until I left in 1997. Until its closure in 1998, EO operated primarily in Africa helping African governments that had been abandoned by the West and were facing threats from insurgencies, terrorism and organised crime. EO also operated in South America and the Far East. I believe that only Africans (Black and White) can truly solve Africa’s problems. I was appointed Chairman of STTEP International in 2009 and also lecture at military colleges and universities in Africa on defence, intelligence and security issues. Prior to the STTEP International appointment, I served as an independent politico-military advisor to several African governments. Until recently, I was a contributing editor to The Counter Terrorist magazine. All comments in line with the topics on this blog are welcome. As I consider this to be a serious look at military and security matters, foul language and political or religious debates will not be entertained on this blog.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

BUSINESS "WARFARE" PROGRAMMES


And now for something completely different…

I have had repeated requests over the years to develop programmes or workshops to share my successful warfare strategies with the corporate world.

I now finally have some time to present these programmes and workshops on "battle field" strategies and tactics in a business environment.

To successfully manoeuvre within the complex and dynamic business battlefield, players need to understand the environment in which they plan to operate. Known as the Operating Environment (OE), it is this environment that shapes and guides their operations. It is also the OE that can either result in success for those who have correctly assessed it or spell disaster for those who enter it unprepared.

The programmes and workshops cover a number of fields including assessing and understanding the Operating Environment, leadership, strategy, the importance of doctrine, business “designs for battle”, the principles of marketing warfare, phases of marketing warfare, market penetration and exploitation, operating in hostile environments, intelligence and counter intelligence, security and asset protection and more.

Each workshop or training programme is designed to meet the specific requirements of an organisation - and is therefore unique.

Interested parties can contact me directly on the blog.

17 comments:

Herbert said...

Eeben,

I'll check a couple of ideas for interest.

Rgds,
Herbert

Matt Davis said...

Rather than the lessons that Business can learn from Warfare, I'm still fascinated by what Warfare learned from business in terms of generating a cashflow and a profit in short order.

With high unemployment around the world and seeing the financial pendulum 'beginning to prepare' to swing the other way, are there lessons for the entrepreneurial 'little man'?

Unknown said...

Be wary of rich westerners trying to buy the illusion of warrior virtue for themselves.

Leonard A. Duro-Emanuel said...

Hi Eben, I find your approach insightful, but my focus has been the proactive side of the equation for African governments: establishing the defence information (InfoWarrior) capability that can track and inform crises as they develop, and widening the national security question to include food, infrastructure, water and civil security from a clandestine and non-active continuous monitoring standpoint.

It would be interesting to spark up an exchange between the analyst and operator elements of the defence and intelligence landscape. interested?

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

That’s very kind of you – many thanks, Herbert.

Rgds,

Eeben

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

Whereas warfare was not initially intended to generate a cash-flow Matt, we note that many modern wars are started to engage the defence industry to boost ailing economies and lay claim to resources required to boost those economies. Whereas warfare has always been viewed as an extension of politics, it is today a method of diplomatic bullying to intimidate countries and governments to hand over their resources to the bullies.

The lessons for the “little man” are to defend the market segment you hold in as many ways possible and forge strong alliances where possible as the attacks against it are sure to come.

Rgds,

Eeben

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

I am not trying to sell them the virtues of the warrior Unknown but rather how to develop effective business strategies utilising military approaches and principles.

Rgds,

Eeben

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

Our entire approach is to assist, advise and aid governments in order to adopt pro-active approaches and policies, Leonard A. Duro-Emanuel. For that very reason, we analysed every war and conflict in Africa and developed a conflict-prevention model that works. (This is merely something I do in “downtime” as I have been asked by numerous corporations to do so).

Our concern is and remains Africa and how African governments are misled, deceived and purposely given bad advice in order to keep them off balance and in conflict. Add to this the numerous foreign-backed proxies creating mayhem, the problem simply escalates.

Yes, I am interested if you intend to pursue this further.

Rgds,

Eeben

michael b da silva said...

Many corporate entities in Japan have adopted a "re-engineered" and "re-understood" version of Sun Tzu`s Art of War and used the teachings in tactics, strategy, common sense, decisiveness and direct action to very good effect. Not to mention that they have also made a Kajillion Yen out of these principles and have dedicated employees.

It makes clear sense to use some facets of military doctrine and organisation to run an effective business model. In the business arena, court martials become disciplinary hearings at the CCMA where arbitration is discussed. Firing squads make way for the more accepted but equally as devastating words " you`re fired" usually uttered by some guy with a hideous wig sitting at the end of the board room table!

People tend to miss the gist and immediately hop on the wrong train of thought when discussions about utilising military doctrine in business are recommended. Hostile mergers and takeovers will NOT involve SEAL teams! They will use something far scarier,,,, lawyers!

In my very humble opinion, the corporate world could do with some teachings in camaraderie, Opsec, discipline and defining who the enemy is. The business world seems to have become as indiscriminate as a land mine with fellow workers acting like urban guerrilla`s with questionable morals and allegiances within their own company frame work.

Mike (my 3 cents).

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

There are many similarities between the military battlefield and the business battlefield, Mike. Sun Tzu’s Art of War is well read by many business schools and scholars and plays an important role in business strategy.

I do not wish to impart a soldier’s ethos on a businessman. Instead, I believe that if they really comprehend strategy, they will realise the value of business intelligence and strategic vision and intent. Of course, as you point out, they need to focus on the objectives and work towards a common goal – the same things armies ought to be doing.

One reason why an incorrect train of thought occurs is through a lack of understanding. Having had some down-time (this is the only time I present such seminars/workshops), you will be amazed at how quickly businessmen grasp the principles of war and immediately find their relevance in the business environment. To me, that is good as it provides them with options – something we should always have.

You are correct: Lawyers can be as scary as the enemy!

Rgds,

Eeben

Leonard A. Duro-Emanuel said...

As a repentant and reformed lawyer, i agree we are scary, but that just puts in context that combat is fundamental to all life, war or business. Using your analogy. Eeben, lawyers perfor a g2 function in the business ecosystem?

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

Your comment “repentant and reformed” gave me a good chuckle, Leonard. That said, I have some very good friends who are lawyers.

I guess the function would encompass both G2 and G3 (Intelligence and Operations) in the business world.

Rgds,

Eeben

Michael B Da Silva said...

Leonard. My apologies about the jibe at lawyers. Look at least you have stood up in company and said. Hi my name is Leonard and I am a lawyer. I commend you.

However I was just joking.
Mike.

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

I am sure Leonard saw the humour in it Mike.

Rgds,

Eeben

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

Thanks for your comment, Frederic.

Unfortunately, you did not include your email address so I am unable to contact you. If you send it to me via the blog, I shall not publish it.

Rgds,

Eeben

Wesley-Mark Jonsson said...

Hi Mr Barlow,

I am currently studying an MBA (WITS) and for my Research Project I would like to compare or analyse how former military members in EXCO Positions are able to identify risks, threats and opportunities in the market as compared to Businessman who do not have that training.

In essence does the military training provide an advantage or a disadvantage to the military member.

I would like to interview you in order to gather information and if you would like to assist me in this Project I would greatly appreciate it.

Please feel free to contact me on:
wm.jonsson@gmail.com

Regards
Wesley-Mark Jonsson

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

Thank you but no thank you, Wesley-Mark.
Rgds,
Eeben