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Revenge Strategy: Wasting the power of your hate on the guiltless (I)-Introduction

Revenge Strategy… hmm how many things come to our mind when we read the title of this saga, isn´t it?.  This saga will be a surprise. And a lot of fun too!

Wood and a candado edited

“A rusty padlock without revenge”. An aquarelle by Eleonora Escalante.

I decided to write about this theme, simply because I have discovered certain circles of personalities who usually admit their desire to pay back with the same or augmented punishment to those who have offended them. Not good eh! The reason for Christianity and the figure of JesusChrist is to stop this behavior in our daily lives. Christ came into our own times, to show us by example, the importance of forgiveness, and his role model is here to help us to overcome the desire to use the Revenge Strategy in our personal and business endeavors. And I wish to announce that Vengeance is not correct by any means. But some people use it in business. And we are not happy to see it.

Let´s start. Before the Christian Era,  with or without any degree of formal education,  before the occurrence of United Nations, and before the mechanisms of convening and living in peace as civilized societies,  the solution to any problem of any nature was to dominate. To conquer using violence. Through war.  Little mattered if the reasons for the war were commercial or not.  In my recently paused saga “Corporate Strategy as an Art”, we had explored the Neolithic and Bronze age civilizations in detail. Given the evidence,  we can state that our cultures have always competed using violence for the following main reasons:

  1. Domination of Land and Key Natural Resources: Territory has always been the main resource of wealth: land for food harvests, fields for cattle and other domestic animals, land for infrastructure and roads, land with scarce minerals or precious oil, and estates for projects of diverse causal agent);
  2. Domination of Governments: Those who are in power, particularly in emerging markets,  are capable to use the regulatory scheme structure for their own benefit. Of course there are impeccable nations which respect fairly all industries and economic sectors, usually, these nations have evolved to incredible levels of ethics. But in developing nations, sometimes the rationale behind the government expansion is simple: some crooked enterprises´ owners wish to spread out their commercial ambitions, and it is easier to work with a government which helps them to grow faster, instead of a government which blocks them with regulatory exertions.
  3. Domination of Trading and Commerce: Those who are owners of the value chain companies specialized into buy, sell, distribute better and efficiently, do have a competitive advantage over those who do not have them.
  4. Domination of the Financial Global System: Life gets better for those who have the advantage gain betting their dominance power at the financial markets.  Those who have access to sources of financing, with possibilities to get fundings at better rates and low repayment conditions. Have you thought that cryptocurrencies are just a revenge strategy against a traditional financial system that banishes some who can´t access it?
  5. Domination of Love: In the past centuries, many marriages at the top corporate level (kingdoms and global corporations) were arranged with the hope to expand territories and nations. And wars have been caused by these motives too.
  6. Domination of Military Armament Technologies: Nevertheless it is insane to think about it, but let me share to my own surprise, that some countries´ wars have been used as a testing territory for new military weapons and state of the art technology weaponry pilot projects. Unbelievable!

gif sailing 2Other type technologies (those which are not military) themselves, digital, emerging or mechanical, or of whatever category you could imagine, are not the accustomed reasons to provoke wars. Neither the plane or the steam engines or the phones caused wars. Why? Because new technologies have always been adopted without any question. And we don´t need a warfare war for new technologies. We just need to identify where are the inventors, and the inventions are able to migrate with the owner of them. The brains of the smartest individuals are usually attracted to those places where they can thrive. In consequence, people have always been mobile resources which can travel in a horse, car, train or plane and settle in any city as Silicon Valley.  Even in times of slavery, even then, when it appeared the case of talented slaves, there was a colloquial distinction in relation to them. Every leader knew the capacity of the gifted slaves. It is not easy to find them. Yet talented brains lost their freedom, they continued being pampered by the new succeeder. Talent is scarce and rare. Not all of us are high-proficient in one area of domain. Not all of us have decided to spend time training and pushing our cerebral capabilities. All I know is that excellent leaders know how to keep their smartest people happy. I am not sure if in the future, nations will initiate conflicts because they wish to fight to get talented people. I doubt it. It is easier to hire them with high salaries and move them to their own territory.

I started to write about the rationale behind the wars. Not because I will dedicate time to all the possible key domination reasons for hostilities. Still because, the domination of trading and commerce is enough reason to start a commercial war. Nowadays the competitive advantage of nations is based, in commercial wars (no military deployment involved). At every level,  there is always a competitor trying to win the size of the industry cake,  deploying different trading or branding or pricing strategies to win the decision of the buyers. Commercial wars will become more common for us in the future, than the bloody warfare territory wars already happening in the Middle East or in Africa.

From the general to the particular, we have landed in the topic of commercial wars. Now let´s go one step ahead. Commercial wars have different reasons. One of these reasons is revenge. Revenge at the simplest significance.

The following saga “Revenge Strategy: Wasting the power of your hate on the guiltless” will explore some unpublished material about this theme. I will share reflections about the topic of vengeance, and I will share it from the positive side. I won´t teach bad things to people who are good. I will share with one idea in mind, to help people to realize in advance how others can hurt by revenge, and how can we protect ourselves to be injured. How can we modify or influence our purpose from the bad to the good, in order to create beautiful businesses, instead of disrupting markets for the sake of revenge? At the end of the day, as mere mortal consumers, if we know in advance that we will pay for a product or service which was created with the revenge strategy in mind, at least as purchasers, we can stop to buy them or at succinct try to think a bit before paying for the product.

As an introduction to the saga: Let´s dig with the most simple definition of revenge: “Something – an action, that you do in order to punish someone who has harmed or offended you beforehand”.  Revenge can be direct or indirect to the person who hurt first. Revenge can be based on evidence or unreal perceptions about the first offender. Revenge, in addition, can be a unique-one and only retaliation tactic action, or it can be a sequence of several actions over a lifetime. Revenge can happen at a personal level, at a professional level, at a relationship level and at a business, or specific industry level. And at a national or international level.

Let´s see some examples of the term revenge. At a personal level, let´s mention the event when you fire a lady because she is the daughter of someone who offended your parents 30 years ago. Revenge happens, at a warfare conflict, when a militia sends a bomb attack in revenge for the killing of some prisoners. Revenge appears, at the relationship level, when a woman destroys the life of another noblewoman because she thinks this gentlewoman has had an affair with her husband, when in reality that is not true. The woman wants to punish her husband by indirectly destroying an innocent person. Revenge happens, at the commercial level, when new technologies are designed with the rationale to sink a traditional successful industry, simply because the owner of the newest technology wishes to payback a previous offense to the founders of the conventional industry.

Some people think that retaliation is the same than revenge. I do not think that way. In terms of business strategy, the term retaliation is used as a defensive tactic (Porter), but not at the corporate strategy level. At the corporate strategy level, the correct term employed is revenge or vengeance.

“Retaliation is about throwing back the hurt on the wrongdoer. It is a driving need to get even. You hurt me, I hurt you”. For the scope of this saga,  Vengeance or revenge is beyond that. Why? Because through vengeance the offense is paid not just by the first wrongdoer, but by his or her relatives (family of different generations), his or her businesses or enterprises, his or her industries of businesses, his or her country, and what is worst, the whole fundamentals of beautiful businesses can be destroyed.

Don´t get me wrong there are wonderful leaders creating beautiful businesses with ethical purposes. That is how it should be. But there are some leaders (maybe 15% of the top Fortune list of companies) which own enterprises originated with one single concept: vengeance or revenge. Sad!

Let´s finish today´s article with the definition of commercial vengeance: “To create products or services or projects in a way that is harmful to another business or industry with the purpose to interrupt its success to dominate the market. The rationale of your new business creation is to punish the business or industry of the first offender (it could be him or her or a family or related third parties (even a country or a representative industry) connected to the one that perpetrated the offense to you in the past.

Find some of the subtopics to develop over the following 8 weeks:.

  1. Commercial Revenge exists. Sharing some real and evident examples
  2. Psychological dynamics of revenge at the corporate level
  3. Why revenge at the corporate strategy level in the XXI Century?
  4. Retaliation Strategy is not the same as Revenge Strategy
  5. Business Purposes motives based on revenge are not ethical
  6. Towards a new sane thriving competition in the new millennium

See you over the next two months. I will be delighted to share this epic with spicy chili pepper humor from my parents´ garden. I wished to post this Friday 31st, but I can´t wait to start this saga. Next publication will be next Wednesday the 5th of June.

Blessings in Christ.



Disclaimer: Illustrations in Watercolor are painted by Eleonora Escalante. All the presentation slides shown on this blog are prepared by Eleonora Escalante. Nevertheless, all the pictures or videos shown on this blog are not mine.  I do not own any of the lovely photos or images posted unless otherwise stated.    

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