Choosing Between Strategy and Opportunity Approach
Adapted from "Changing
Strategic Direction", Peter Skat-Rørdam
Building on existing competencies,
capabilities, products, markets
Building on new competences,
Need stability and certainty
change, accept uncertainty
Lack capacity for flexibility,
corporate venturing, and speed
Established capacity for
flexibility, corporate venturing, and
The Tao of
the Opportunity Approach
YIN (passive, accepting side).
Outside-In: the will to listen to opportunity knocking,
searching for opportunities,
uncovering the Iceberg of Opportunities,
discovering opportunities, and building an
organization and internal
YANG (active, aggressive side). Inside-Out:
the determination to
action and succeed,
innovating to create tomorrow's opportunities, developing
disruptive products and creating winning
Creating Competitive Disruption
Find opportunities through
understanding trends of change...
is an indispensable ingredient of competitiveness and a precondition
for winning in the new rapidly changing economy...
4 Entrepreneurial Strategies
Opportunity-driven business development is an experimental
approach to be practiced by companies facing radical industry or market
change. According to
this approach is based on two core beliefs:
Most companies possess a wealth of attractive
opportunities. Most of these usually remain undiscovered,
with only a few ever brought to attention, and in the best case only one or two
Many companies will soon find that it necessary
to employ an opportunity-driven and experimental approach to
business development, especially in changing industries, simply because
the future is so uncertain.1
Opportunities arise and crystallize on a continuous basis.
"Every company meets new opportunities (and threats) daily. An employee
discovers an opportunity to sell a current product in a new market segment,
for example, or a competitor suddenly goes up for sale. Such opportunities
do not wait for the next strategy meeting."1 Some opportunities
may shape new challenges, influence your
strategic intent, and thus
your business set-up radically. Other opportunities that require incremental
changes may be defined as short-term projects intended to improve the
performance of the present business set-up.
You should define a limited number of challenges each year
and necessary steps towards realizing your strategic intent. Though your
company "may have a vision of the path to the future, the challenges on the
road and road's direction may well change along the way. Challenges should
be specific, such as reducing time to market to 6 months, so that it is easy
to monitor whether targets are achieved. Challenges also need to be split
into a number of different projects."1
new era. of rapid changes and
knowledge-based enterprises, managerial work becomes increasingly
a leadership task.
In the increasingly
turbulent and competitive environment firms face today, a
new type of "entrepreneurial" leader distinct from other behavioral
forms of managerial leadership is required.
is the primary force behind
Entrepreneurial leaders discover emerging business opportunities and empower employees
to act on the
vision. They execute through
inspiration and develop implementation capacity networks through a complex
web of aligned relationships...
18 Leadership Lessons from Colin Powell
Once the information is in the 40 to 70 range,
go with your gut. Don't wait until you have enough facts to be 100% sure,
because by then it is almost always too late....
"No matter how deep a study you make, what
you really have to rely on is your own
intuition and when it comes down to it, you really don't know what's
going to happen until you do it."
Case in Point
Running the mighty GE enterprise, with its twelve major
Jack Welch didn't seem like a
traditional manager. He seemed more like a
superleader: "My job is to put the best people on the biggest
opportunities and the best allocation of dollars in the right places. That's
about it. Transfer ideas and allocate resources and get out of the way."
When To Use
The Opportunity Approach
which business innovation concept is appropriate to a company, the
first thing to do is to ask whether the company is generally doing
the right things (effectiveness), but just needs to do them better
(efficiency), or whether it needs to do new things. It is important
to consider whether both fast results and the scale of change are
needed. It should first be asked whether the company is faced with
an evolutionary or radical change in its industrial sector.1
It does not
make much sense to pursue costly new opportunities if a company is
neither effective nor efficient. Cost-cutting and restructuring
measures should come first as a starting point of long-term
fundamental transformation – “creative destruction” – that
involves downsizing and simplifying, followed by regeneration of the
organization and strategy.
opportunity-driven business development approach aims at increasing
the effectiveness of a company through the pursuit of new business.
The opportunity approach is an alternative to the traditional
process of renewing business
strategy. This approach is also valid even for very successful
companies that are already both very efficient and very effective.
Even with a healthy business, external change is a constant factor.
Besides, it is often easier to obtain resource support for new
opportunities when a company is doing well.1
Strategic innovation is a holistic systematic approach focused on
generating beyond incremental,
discontinuous innovations. Innovation becomes "strategic" when it is an
intentional repeatable process that creates a significant difference in
the value delivered to consumers, customers, partners and the
corporation. A Strategic Innovation initiative generates a portfolio of
breakthrough business growth opportunities using a disciplined yet creative
intent is a company's vision of what it wants to achieve in the long
term. It must evolve on the basis of experience during its implementation. Strategic intent takes the form of a number of corporate
challenges, specified as short term projects and opportunities.
Reaching for the
Searching for Opportunities...
Turning Failures into Opportunities...
Assessing Your Management Opportunities...
Seeking the Optimum Balance of
Succeed in Business...
The Five Critical Success
Factors for New Ventures...
The Experimental Approach...
Turning Risks Into
Case in Point
Case in Point
AT&T: Developing New
Credit Card Service...
Case in Point
Case in Point