Serhiy Lesnyak: Smart business people study military strategy

What use gives the military strategies for business? How the experience of the managerial decisions of the Ukrainian Cossacks can be transferred to the modern business? Already at this week, the answers to these questions will try to find the members of Ukraine’s first seminar “Business as military strategy: experience of Battle of Khotyn”, organized by Lviv Business School of UCU (LvBS).

Serhiy LesnyakSerhiy Lesnyak, teacher of international business in LvBS, who was the first, who translated into Ukrainian the treatise “The Art of War”, written in China for more than two thousand years ago, and told us how did the idea of the training cycle appeared :

“When I came to China, I was interested in culture, history, texts that business people read for the inspiration, better strategic planning and the search for effective management techniques. Among them was the work of Sun Tzu that I have read before the move to China, but it was translated version. A lot of successful top managers and entrepreneurs read this text, think over it, and meditate. And not only in China!

Over time, the military topics attracted me more and more. I realized that it is interesting not only for the Far East, but for the modern strategic science; even such famous minds as Mintzberg in management science or Kissinger in politics mentioned Sun Tzu very often, it is analyzed emphasizing on how important is this book.

What does the Ukrainian Cossacks have to do with that? There are a lot of stories that we do not know, except for some persons. And perhaps now it is a high time to study this story in different ways. This is my first argument.

The second argument: smart businessmen have always studied military strategy. I think the Ukrainian business also should start to do this! I was inspired by the project of the scientist Michael Yusima, who implemented these things in Wharton business school. He carries his students to Gettysburg, to the place of the famous battle of Civil War in the USA, where they learn the management solutions, logistics and other important details at the place of battle. Through these analogies you can take a lot of good for business.


Read more: Seminar “Business as military strategy: experience of Battle of Khotyn”

We also should not limit our knowledge only with the dry figures for business; instead we must constantly expand our horizons. One of the methods to study business reality is a study of your culture and history, as we are currently out of context. This is an attempt to have a different look onto Ukrainian history, try to take something from it for the present times, to understand yourself, to understand how to make decisions and finally it is a fun way to spend the time.

Hetman Petro Sahaidachny (as the main protagonist of the Battle of Khotyn) is, above all, a very interesting example of a strategic leader, who thought for many years to come. We do not have such leaders now. Having no absolute power, he was a leader of the highest scale and he can predict a lot of events.

Secondly, he has used his advantages actively to achieve what was important for the state of the Cossacks.

Thirdly, he was extremely resolute and diplomatic. These qualities are very rarely found together.

The educational project is planned as a series of seminars. Khotyn is a pilot city. We chose a beautiful place, selected interesting teachers. Our teachers will be: Pavlo Sheremeta, the founder of the School of Management of UCU, Vadym Zadunayskyi, doctor of the historical sciences, professor, and researcher of Cossacks and martial arts of Cossacks. I will read the introductory part.

In Ukraine, there are a lot of historical events that can be viewed through the matrix of military strategies and business. There were successful and unsuccessful fights, their list is very large. Therefore, we have things to work on. For Ukraine, this is an innovation and added value for the business education.

This project is aimed at us, at our society. In order, we may have a look at ourselves from a different angle. I hope it will be useful for many managers!”

Reference: Lviv Business School of UCU announced the start of a cycle of seminars for managers on the basis of a new for Ukrainian business education format: learning through the exploring of historical events and battles and projecting of the analogies to the modernity . Today in business we are looking for the solutions referring to the experience of the other countries, looking for ideas in the new concepts and trends. For the first time in Ukraine LvBS offers a unique way to learn management theory based on the Ukrainian history, particularly of the military experience of Ukrainian Cossacks. The first seminar of this series will take place on July 22-23.

The journey of the leadership starts with the picturesque Kamianets-Podilskyi, then the transfer to Khotyn fortress. In addition to the training the participants of the program will also be able to try themselves in the Cossack martial arts, cook a real porridge and sing Cossack songs.