Battle of Berestechko: Lessons for Managers from the Business as Military Strategy Program

In Lviv Business School of UCU (LvBS) there is a peculiar tradition of studying business strategies via the experience of war battles and crucial decisions of outstanding military leaders directly at the battle sites! On the 1st of July, 2018, the third seminar from the series «Business as a Military Strategy» for managers and administrators took place.

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Previously, these seminars were held in Kamianets-Podilskyi, Khotyn and Zbarazh – inside well-known Ukrainian historical  fortification buildings and areas.

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This year, within two days, participants together with School´s lecturer and a Cossack researcher Vadym Zadunayskyi were studying challenging historical lessons at the territory of the national historic-memorial preserve «The Field of Berestechko Battle» and Dubno Castle. (*Cossacks - ethnic and cultural self-governing, semi-military communities in Ukraine XV – XVII cent.)

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Participants were drawing conclusions, building-up their own military strategies, visited the battle field and made a journey back to the past.

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Why should business in general and Ukrainian business in particular, learn military strategies? One of the program´s mentors Serhiy Lesnyak, a visiting lecturer of International Business Course of LvBS, is commenting on it below: «Issues of how to win and how to determine one´s advantages and disadvantages are always a topic under discussion. Therefore, in this project we prioritize not the tools that can help aiming the goal, but the ways to revive strategic way of thinking. Generally, a growing interest  to strategic culture is very important. And it should be mentioned, that in Ukraine there is a lack of this strategy both in state and society, and business. Ukrainians, by nature, are very spontaneous and that’s why we rarely can build up systemized business that can be competitive in the world.»

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What are the lessons from a Ukrainian Cossack from the XVII cent. to a businessman in the 21st cent.?

✔ Plan thoroughly and be aware while making your plans. Make sure that people behind you can act under any flexible circumstances.

✔ Be resolute and firm. Take your decisions quickly but considerably. Be aware of your own advantages and, which is even best, be aware of the advantages of your competitor.

✔ Communicate. Create a strong team, in which everybody knows his or her mission and can vividly see the way they can сontribute to a common goal.

✔ Be cautious while selecting partners. Take into considerations all the small details in making alliances. The ally can make you incredibly strong as well as destroy you in the least expected moment.

✔ Be reasonable. Avoid self-overestimating.

✔ Build and love your state land as Cossacks did!

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Examples of military strategies are worth to be applied to a modern business-context in terms that military experience helps to understand and learn managing theories and define the right strategic decisions.