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Experimental or Opportunistic

Experimental - involve folks close to the customer ...

Well-managed experimentation discovers value for customers quicker. You want to spend just enough to validate the good ideas. Adapters are good at this and often use pseudoscientific language: experiment, test, etc.

Most of my clients agonize over product innovation. They can't make folks creative by calling a meeting. They want to know how to keep these costs down, find a winner or quickly abandon the losers before they ruin their careers. How important is innovation to our business? How close are we to our customers?

The pressure increases when: "time to market" is shrinking; there are unique opportunities that others take advantage of first; or you are losing business to that well-financed "big company" or a surprising, brilliant upstart with a disruptive technology. That is a bummer!

Opportunistic - Involve your key implementers, keep the team small ...

The opportunist wants to be able to move right now, when the chance of a life-time presents itself. They are entrepreneurs, visionaries, risk takers. They speak finance, sometimes they use gambling terms.

They follow simple rules. Don't waste time in meetings - act quickly. Should our strategic planning strive to help our visionary spot the next opportunity?

Key points

Rational, experimental or opportunistic — there are commonalities. To formulate strategy well, we need to involve the right people, to improve our skill to recognize the best opportunities, to be more flexibility, to take smarter risks, to seize opportunities, to spend big bucks wisely, or to weather storms. The team composition usually predetermines the outcome, so spend time with your boss and the facilitator to talk through who needs to be on the team.

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