Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Opportunistic Innovation as Strategy

Caught this book review of "Strategic Intuition" in the Wall Street Journal, which is a great fit with what OpenTeams can do for your company:

Set big goals. Do whatever it takes to reach them. These muscular sentences form the core of commencement addresses, business-advice books, political movements and even the United Nations approach to global poverty. In "Strategic Intuition," a concise and entertaining treatise on human achievement, William Duggan says that such pronouncements are not only banal but wrong.

Mr. Duggan, who teaches strategy at Columbia Business School, argues that the commonplace formula has it backward. Instead of setting goals first, he says, it is better to watch for opportunities with large payoffs at low costs and only then set your goals. That is what innovators throughout history have done, as Mr. Duggan shows in a deliriously fast-paced tour of history.


One of the insights of "Strategic Intuition" is that business makes progress by following the opportunistic innovation model, while governments and international-aid agencies aim repetitively at rigid social goals.


If there are still businessmen who feel compelled to follow a fixed-goal plan -- missing out on the profits of opportunistic flexibility -- then at least there is the free market to punish them. Market feedback is surely one big reason that we have so many innovative entrepreneurs.

Of course, OpenTeams is a great environment for sparking and developing opportunistic innovation options by tapping the wisdom and insights of employees at all levels.

No comments: