Play Bold: Sun Zi your self with the original translator team

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this next episode of season 2, we have Henrik Friman guesting Play Blod! He is an innovation professor, president of the IHM Business School, and an entrepreneur. He is driven by a passion for enlightening and developing people. With a passion for individuals, learning, and business, he constantly finds new paths to discover end engage. As when he was on a team translating the original texts of Sun Zi and the Art of War - an extraordinary piece of work. Henrik shares his insights and wisdom linked to the modern world, more relevant than ever!

Magnus panker's new book playbold, how to win the business game through creative destruction, is available to buy now on Amazoncom. Read the Book and, in the meantime, sit back and enjoyed the playbold podcast. Welcome along to the next episode. And what has Magnus's new book got in common with a four thousand year old text? Keep listening. You're about to find out as we hear the conversation with Henry Freeman, and innovation professor, president of the IH M business school and an entrepreneur. As ever, with the questions, let me hand you over to Magnus. Tonight we have Henry Freeman as the guests at play bold. He is an innovation professor, president of the I age and Business School and Entrepreneur. He's driven by a passion for enlightning and developing people, with a passion for individuals, learning and businesses. He constantly find new path to discover and engage, as when he was on the team translating the original text of soon see and the art of war and accit out the masterpieces as well. It's an extraordinary piece of work and a fantastic translate. The translation into the Swedish language. Hendrik warm, welcome to play bold. Thank you, manner. Thank you for having me so he could you tell us why you and a group of linguists and resources undertake this extremely challenging task to translate soon see and the art of war into Swedish? That's a quite interesting starting point for discussions because it's started as as this discussion. Together with Keepang and bank Petterson, we started to discuss the art of war. I was working at that time at the Swedish defense and was working with how we are thinking about organizations in under stress, and in that discussions we came back to the masterpieces of soon see and we realize that a lot of things that was taught in the old books was actually transcripted over from Chinese to other languages and then over to Swedish. And having that insights, we realize that if you are going directly from the Chinese bambo sticks to Swedish, you will get another meaning, you will also get another context. And that started the journey and it took three years and together with professionals within the defense, we had a really fun trip doing this work, and I will also say that my part was mainly on the study ache and how to put that into context what we were doing there and keep bing and banked is the one that the should be hondered by. The transcription. You're listening to Magnu spanker and guests on the play bone podcast. So what you learn from a product like this? I mean this is a very challenging and and and I would not say all that, but it's not what you do people normally do. What did you learn from from this kind of freeway projects? One of the key things I taking with me from doing this type of work is that the importance of simplicity. I mean, the text was written fourzero years ago and there are still value and the reason for being that is that they actually kept the essence of...

...what's in study thinking and the way they are today working with study planning, and so a lot of people can do that, but to do it as simple as the text gives you is a really important lessons if you should actually make this strategy is into action. So I would say that the simplicity is it's a key component and also most of the things you can read within the text gives you still insights off of how to do it strong strategy. One example this power, movement, agility, things that you heard in innovation today was written fourzero years ago in a context of the time there were living it. So I'm mazed off of the book and I'm coming back reading that again and again again, and it starts to be a new book every time I open it up. Yes, that's that's amazing. I was thinking about that. I think Albert Einstein said that simplifiers for as possible but not further than that, and I think that to boil this down to something useful but not further than that, it is a great advice. Why should we care about this? I mean's four thou year old. What's what's in it for us today in the Wistons and see. Oh, I think that's really up to the reader. The thing is that when you read a text like this, you will interpret it differently every time you read it because you put it into context what you are doing at the moment. So it's really up to the reader to defined what's coming out of it. What's the meaning level of it. I mean the way it's argued and the text is format it. It's open up the importance of things that you should have in mind working with strategy, and the way you can think about different things. So I think it's it's an m important work, but it's done in a such delicate way, so it's intrigue you to actually read it and read it again. So it's more of guidance than telling you how to do it. Basically, absolutely, absolutely, it's more way of thinking of things, putting the fingers of importance, than actually going into detail and tell you this is the checklist, do it like this and it's going to be a success story. I would say that it's open up your way of arguing and actually conversation of how an important issue like a strategy should be or could be argue. So it's really up to you to read it and tell me what you see when you read it. Now, the professor speaking. I love it so and you happen to be as an innovation is that the professor? We all have a PH D in innovation management. You're not just as soon SI export and I know that that you have thought quite much about the link its is between them, since the wisdom and strategy, and could you somehow enlighten us and or at least open a few doors, or maybe just post questions? How? How? How should we see on the link its between old Chinese war strategies and how company compete today in the Modern World? That's absolutely a great question and at first it's a different between strategy thinkings in different countries and different parts of the...

...world. So the way we are thinking here in Scandinavia are some way differ from other part of the world, and those that read a translation of this Chinese monsterpieces have to have in mind the language differences within the text, and that's also one of the important insights from transcript it directly to Swedish instead of going through like the old versions, when we went through Russia, French and English, which is the most common languages, to bring in this Chinese knowledge. But having said that, and also having assumed that Sweden are an advanced example of of a country in the world, I think in the way you are leading under uncertainty and the way you formatting your researching resources to gain power, that is the piece that could give you the difference, because if you still believe that you should command and control and build your strategy thinking out of commanding and controlling, you will miss all the benefits of having an experts organization and a lot of Swedish company are built around knowledge and services and solutions. That's the modern world of building business and if you go back then to this Chinese peace you can see that they are not telling you how to do it, they are telling the importance of things you have to take in consider it to do things. That makes difference and that's the way of leading in the modern word, which means that a lot of the insights and the way of actually addressing the questions also have a value in the society that will live today. So I would say that it's a philosophy more than a guidelines only of how to command and control and lead in the future. So, according to experience, why is the innovation important and and what does it really mean to innovate? When you start working with innovation, I started thirty years ago when I first started to read and thought that was the most interesting thing you can do, we have a quite more simple way of thinking. I mean the basic at that time was that taken creative thoughts and make it to happen and then have someone to pay for it. That was the way we were doing in the beginning, but today it's more that innovation becomes almost everything. That we are doing, especially now when we living on a fast moving market. So for me today it's more to be inovate innovative than the innovation by itself, which means that it's more an attitude and a behavior of how we should take care and take challenge for being in our best for the future. So, as a leader today, to achieve what we are trying to do, I need to create a team that are innovative rather than having a project within my organization saying innovation, because that's not going to do the difference that I need to do to be on the competitive core of competence of all business today. So it's more the person than the thing. That's the biggest real change...

...through the time I've been working with this type of issues, and that comes quite back back to playing bold, and I think we should come back to that question. And how should you play bold in this in this environment, because that's makes the big difference of just doing or doing something that makes difference. Basically, what you're saying is that it's more about attitude and get gets and you need to play bold. And how do you? How do you do that? How how do you actually handle resistance and hurdles. I mean it's all about the attitude and people, but then you should lead the group and guide them how, in your experience, you deal with the main holders like maybe resistance or uncertainty or people are being afraid of failure. That's all. That's a great question and I think one of the biggest hurdles we can see today is within resources. I mean I'm living in an organization today that we have tremendous smart people and a talent people working within the company, and the problem I have is with that high speed that we need to operate, to get the right resources available to actually make things happen. So that's that's a big problem actually within the whole industry that I'm working today. I'm in education and we could see that in the education the ED tech, which is the transformation that we are working with quite a lot today, is still so far behind other branches. Look on thin tech and other branches which have come much, much further in their development. So I would say the resources, and it's not just the human side, it's actually the economic sites also. Yeah, and I think you're also point that, at least indirectly. The quarter capital listment demand for short term profit and you sacrifice the long term profit. Maybe the play Bolthe podcast find out more innovation. Three hundred and sixtycom forward slash play boat. So if you look back at all the cool stuff you did, what is the most valuable lessons learned in business? Can you share that with us? I think it's to believe in your ideas and actually be true to yourself on your inner drives for doing that. I will give you an ex sample of that. At one point in my career I had a research team and we realize that we had not enough critical mass of experts within that team to actually achieve what we could achieve with an the research and development projects we were running. The only way for us to actually do that was to create new resources through collaborations, and that was collaborations outside of the border. At that time I worked for a government's organization and that government organization has a lot of rules and regulations that made it really, really hard to actually open up international collaborations. Was Not that they were not willing, was more that the regulations in place was not done for doing that type of Arness. But after I left my positions in the government, I went to industry and within three years. Together with industry, we have created an open center for innovation and experimentation in California, which gave us that critical mass to actually...

...make the difference in that innovation project so we could actually take on those advanced innovation projects in a way so we can also come to solutions. And that comes back again to the importance of resources, to actually having the willingness to invest in an early stage in an idea and actually have people that are willing to put in their careers to actually drive that to conclusions and results. So beliefs in believing your ideas and be true to what actually drives you, and that is what's needed to make success, which lead me into to the next question that I post to several guests. It's about higher purpose and to make it little more exciting, I asked priest about it. Immoms, atheists, executives, researchers. Most of my guests have the question about higher purpose and I think what you touched upon right now is actually higher purpose. Do you believe it's important and if you do that, why, and if you don't, why? So what is your relationship to higher purpose? Yes, of course, I mean if you look into what's commit yourself to do things, willingness to step out, do that extra mile. You need to work within an organization that actually stands for a value and a purpose, and higher purpose I mean, for example, the organization I work for today has a strong passion for people, learning and business, and that is so well aligned with my own beliefs of what's important for the Swedish society and the development for our future, because if we missed on that, we will not succeed in in the coming generations here. So the higher purpose is strong value. The company I work for is also a foundation, which means that we don't have private owners. So the interest is actually to give back to the society that where we living in within we are not finding foundings for a private owner. We are actually doing this for a better good for Swedish society. That's strong things, that's commit me and my friends to do what we do today, and that's emotional connection is are such strong, important and I would say that if you don't have that, you would probably leave a quite empty life, because then you just going to be in machine, going to work, doing what you ask and stay with that. So higher purpose is, of course, strong driving force to to do anything. Let's it's reminds me of when I went to business school. I graduated from having the business school and they didn't tell me that to graduate you were actually required to formulate your own higher purpose, and I thought it was such a bullshit until I did it and after that. That's the best thing I ever did in my life and a game changer, and that's probably one of the most important things that happens through the education. You get the time to reflect and read into what's meaningful and important for you find the next step in your life, and I think that's so amazing, and to share that together with other people in the classrooms. Yeah, it's the best of my day. Yeah, you're listening to Magna spanker and guests on the play bone podcast. You do such a good job. I'm so proud that you're being a Swede and also reading a Swede, and...

Ryk. This is this is great. I hope that many universities and business school around the world listening to this pick up that. I know many did, but I think more to come. It's very important and that's how we can fix the planet. We can fix everything, basically, if we believe, if we don't believe it will be end very quickly. We also lead me to the next question. How, how would you describe a culture we actually can have this long term perspective and working towards that, at the same time working with improvements to have a working operational add circular that actually fund for the time to come? What, in your experience and your knowledge and your research of and all you yet some practitioner, being a practitioner and the military, what would you say? Is this is how I perceive or would describe the culture? That actually not sure, having short and long term side at the same time. Oh, that's a big question. I mean that's the challenge for everyone in senior leadership to jump between, it's like a Bundeye jump between long term and short term commitments. I mean it's so easy to fall into the daily business and the again off today, but at that time, that's when you actually have to step up and take your ass a leader to give room space and resources to actually thinking ahead, thinking for ahead and also, if you ask your employees, that's one of the most important part to build an or strong organization, that is that you have a clear vision, that you have a clear mission and I mean first time I was hearing that in school I thought that okay, you do that, you sign off the paper and it's done. No, it's when you're living that, when you really believe and commit yourself to, as you said before, a high purpose, and that means that you can't just do the things in the short term. You have to also work with the long term. Of this. Interesting part is that my teas is when I was John Grad at PhD school, was about time awareness in study decisions, and the important lessons from that study came out with that a lot of people doesn't have the time or the capability to think that far ahead. And that was even one of the conclusions that came out that my boss had worse time study time awareness than the cleaning lady that I had as a pilot test for my studies. My boss was not that excited about the result, but it's telling you something. This is a skill set and this is also a talent. So you have to pick people that actually can move themselves between time and space, and that's that's important if you have to be an organization in movement, and the society we are living in today we have to move a lot. We have to continue se be on the road for moving and then you have to think ahead. Otherwise you lost your pointing at something very intriguing and important here, with having a senior leadership that able to see ahead. Of course you can bring in consultant, you can train, you can build capability, but you also have to have leaders that have like, the basic ability to think ahead. and talking about cleaning ladies, I didn't plan to say this, but I'm happy to. It's a true story and it's out there and I recently had contact with this person. So many years ago I worked with a very famous Swedish entrepreneur and did the turnaround and in my leadership team I didn't have enough people that could...

...think ahead. So I actually appointed the cleaning lady as the Sales Manager for inhow sales department, and it will extraordinary good and I had contact with her actually not long time ago. It's a finish lady and it was a game change for her and it was a game change for the company in the management in and see when you really had that gift and and it taughts you something that if you have the trust and the beliefs, people can move. The Monte it and this is was expert organization is all about. It's not what's on your title, it's not what's on your previous experience, but it's what you actually believe and what you drive for. Yeah, yeah, so great story. Great the play Boone podcast. Find out more innovation. Three hundred and sixtycom forward, slash play bowl and like we are at the end of the interview and it was fantastic to have your guest. I'm so thrilled. I'm going back and reread the art of war. I need to create another version of that in my head. I'm really looking forward to that. I'm going to read your Thri Sanslation. I don't speak signed, I can't really said it would be the city sanslation and I will read it again. So I'm sure that all listener and myself is very, very curious. On what is your favorite sun see quote? And how come? There are very much many quotes in the book that been used and are really, really good, and I think I should take something that is not that common that we come back to. It's really important because it makes such a lot of sense, and that's to be strange. And by victory and what does it really says is that it's remarkably important that you drive by success. Results drive results. You can't create results without the willingness or the willingness to play, and you also have to be bold when you do that, otherwise you're not going to earn anything. So success drive success in a remarkable way, and that's important also to celebrate, but also to put up as a target that we should be I can hear a lot of times that you are allowed to fail, and so that also gives you a mindset that you should take risks. But this the victory that actually drives the force in the next step. I like to come back because I thought we should also go in a little bit more to your book to Play Ball, because I think that's an important piece here and it has a lot of common with his four thousand year old text that I'm referring to to this in our in this interview. But one of the terms that American using is to be bold headed, and that means something. That means something really, really strong, because it's referred to the American Eagle to be that Eagle that actually can do things with a longer, longer reach than the normal birds and other birds it's a really strong bird. That makes difference and it has at the Victory Against Society because it's stay there, and this has a meaning that we should create to be in a track of victory. That was a long sentence from a few words and but it gives a quite illustrated example of what you can take out of reading a book, which...

...has actually a lot of quotes in within the book, but it's also what you did do with it which is the strongest lessons you should take with you. That's it's an amazing way of ending the interview. That that we have to think about the success and let the drive us, but learn from the mistakes. But I agree, if we just two mistakes, what's the point? We need to learn from them, but we need to want to win and that we'll drive that we win. So it's really good wisdoms and a great way of ending the interviewser thank you so much, Hendrikul, for being my guest. It has been a true pleasure. Thank you. Thank you for having me and hope to see you sown talk to you again. Take care of bye, and thank you for listening, and don't forget to check out Magnus's new book how to win the business game through creative destruction. And next week join Magnus as he chats the Christina Benkson. She's the female version of James Bond. She's a former military officer and world champion precision shooter, as well as a global thought leader on master focus. Find out more at Christina Benksoncom. Until next time, stay safe and play bold.

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