Classical Strategists And Their Legacy In Business Operations

It is often said that one must know their history to avoid past mistakes. However, it is also possible to utilize such knowledge as the foundation for future successes. Many classical strategists had ideas that were so revolutionizing that they still lie at the core of many organizations and business plans. This paper will analyze five classical strategists for their impact on modern business strategies.

It is impossible to imagine modern business strategy without considering Sun Tzu’s influence on planning and assessment. SWOT analysis is a common tool for companies who seek new ways to gain a competitive advantage. Its key features are similar to Sun Tzu’s views on knowledge of oneself and one’s enemy (Arbogast & Arbogast, 2009). Nowadays, the SWOT analysis is used to reveal possible directions for growth by highlighting external and external factors.

Another renowned classical strategist that is worth mentioning is Gaius Julius Caesar. His views on outsourcing as a viable strategy for growth have been successfully transferred to business operations, with outsourcing now being one of the primary ways of optimizing a company’s expenditures (Arbogast & Arbogast, 2009). Many issues with increasing costs of production were essentially resolved through the globalization process, and companies continue to use outsourcing for optimization.

Carl von Clausewitz is a Prussian general whose views on war strategy still serve modern firms in their goals. His concept of dividing a war into a series of battles in order to achieve victory gradually while remaining open to changes (Arbogast & Arbogast, 2009). This approach is easy to perceive in modern organizations, whose goals are always split into viable, short-time projects that aim to reach a greater purpose while remaining grounded in reality.

Alexander the Great is impossible to avoid when discussing the great generals of the past. Alexander’s approach to an army structure was focused on integrating various parts involved in its functioning into a larger organization (Arbogast & Arbogast, 2009). In business, companies create departments in order to streamline the work process for each part through hierarchical levels of authority. These divisions are easier to manage, especially when operations are being scaled up.

Themistocles is the final general who will be analyzed for his input into strategic management. His views on the advantage of innovative technologies allowed Athens to achieve a decisive victory at sea with triremes (Arbogast & Arbogast, 2009). Nowadays, disruptive technologies lie in the foundation of both startups and the largest corporations in the world. Themistocles’ views on innovation can be called risky, yet such risks may prove to be highly successful and give companies a major competitive advantage.

In conclusion, these strategists have unknowingly provided the modern world with all the necessary tools for the rapid growth and development of all industries. With the knowledge passed through generations, companies are able to plan their actions with precision and efficiency that were never seen before. I have learned that history bears more than a warning. Understanding that wisdom is timeless is a sign of civilization’s maturity.


Arbogast, G. W., & Arbogast, V. S. (2009). The classical evolution of modern business strategies and tactics. In D. N. Koufopoulos & M. Argyropoulou (Eds.), Doing business in the global economy. ATINER.