Strategy Innovation:

Strategies of Market Leaders

Opportunity-driven Business Development

New Approach for the New Era of Rapid and Unpredictable Change

By: Vadim Kotelnikov

Founder, Ten3 Business e-Coach Inspiration and Innovation Unlimited!



"You will either step forward into growth or you step back into safety." ~ Abraham Maslow

More Opportunity Quotes


10 Commandments of Innovation

The Success Formula According to Taoism


Success is the sum of preparation and opportunity

3 Strategies of Market Leaders

3.  Relentless Innovation

  1. Venture Strategies

  2. Fast Company

  3. Innovation System... More

Leadership and Management

  • Leaders seize opportunities; Managers avert threats. Both together progress more... More

Leadership-Management Synergy

Leaders: Pursue opportunities. Managers: Reduce risk.

Resulting synergy: Strategic Achievement... More

Strategic Intent Opportunity-driven Business Development Corporate Strategy Vision Mission Goals Business Strategies Discovering Opportunities Pursuing Opportunities Ten3 Business e-Coach (full version) 3 Hierarchical Levels of Corporate Strategy Dynamic Corporate Strategy Strategy Pyramid vs. Strategy Stretch: Vision, Strategic Intent, Mission, Strategic Achievement

Choosing Between Strategy and Opportunity Approach

Adapted from "Changing Strategic Direction", Peter Skat-Rørdam

Use Strategy Approach

Use Opportunity Approach

Known environment

Unknown environment

Stable environment

Unstable environment

Building on existing competencies, capabilities, products, markets

Building on new competences, capabilities, products, markets

Need consolidation

Need rapid growth

Need stability and certainty

Need change, accept uncertainty

Lack capacity for flexibility, corporate venturing, and speed

Established capacity for flexibility, corporate venturing, and speed


The Tao of the Opportunity Approach

  1. 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 adaptive organization  and internal capabilities to pursue the opportunities

  2. YANG (active, aggressive side). Inside-Out: pursuing opportunities, the determination to take action and succeed, rapid experimentation, innovating to create tomorrow's opportunities, developing disruptive products and creating winning competitive strategies

5 Strategic Questions

You Should Ask to Understand Where Your Business Is Going

by: Jack Welch

  • What are your plans to leapfrog over your competitors?... More

Creating Competitive Disruption

7 Strategies

  1. Find opportunities through understanding trends of change... More

SWOT Analysis

Questions To Answer

  • What trends do you see in your industry?

  • What trends do you foresee?... More

Strategic Innovation

7 Dimensions

  1. Organizational Readinessthe ability to take action... More



Business BLISS

Balance – Leadership – Innovation – Synergy – Speed

  1. Speed is an indispensable ingredient of competitiveness and a precondition for winning in the new rapidly changing economy... More

Inspirational Leadership

10 Roles

  1. Encourage entrepreneurial creativity and experimentation... More

4 Entrepreneurial Strategies

By: Peter Drucker

  • Finding and occupying a specialized "ecological niche" obtaining a practical monopoly in a small area... More

Why Opportunity Approach?


Opportunity-driven business development is an experimental approach to be practiced by companies facing radical industry or market change. According to Peter Skat-Rørdam1, this approach is based on two core beliefs:

  1. 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 actually pursued.

  2. 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 change 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

Entrepreneurial Leadership

In the 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.

Entrepreneurial leadership is the primary force behind successful change. 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... More

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.... More

Inspirational Quotes from Great Corporate Leaders

"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." Konosuke Matsushita ... More

 Case in Point  GE

Running the mighty GE enterprise, with its twelve major businesses, 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

To decide 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.

If your company is effective, but not efficient, your focus should be on implementation of continuous efficiency improvement measures and, ultimately, establishment of an enterprise-wide business process management (EBPM) system. A

 continuous effort to improve organizational climate as well as the productivity of the core business in response to continuous changes in the marketplace should be emphasized in the company’s growth strategy.

If your company achieved high operational efficiency but lacks effectiveness, you should work more on your business and strategic planning. Unless you regularly schedule time (one-day out-of-the-office meeting a month at least) to work on your business and answer critical questions, you'll never achieve your stretch goals.

The 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

Strategic innovation is a holistic systematic approach focused on generating beyond incremental, breakthrough or 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 process... More

Strategic Intent

Strategic 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.


 Discover much more in the


Opportunity-focused Organization...

Reaching for the Strategic Intent...

Searching for Opportunities...

Discovering Opportunities...

Pursuing Opportunities...

Turning Failures into Opportunities...

Assessing Your Management Opportunities...

Seeking the Optimum Balance of Opportunities...

How To Succeed in Business...

The Five Critical Success Factors for New Ventures...

Harnessing the Power of Change...

The Experimental Approach...

Revenue Model...

Dynamic Enterprise Strategy...

Turning Risks Into Opportunities...

Ten-Point Summary...

Creative Leadership...

 Case in Point  Dell Inc...

 Case in Point  AT&T: Developing New Credit Card Service...

 Case in Point  Charles Schwab...

 Case in Point  Google...


How To Choose between Strategic Programming and Opportunity-driven Business Development

Use Strategic Programming Approach

Use Opportunity Approach

Known environment

Unknown environment

Stable environment

Unstable environment

Building on existing competencies, capabilities, products, markets

Building on new competences, capabilities, products, markets

Need consolidation

Need rapid growth

Need stability and certainty

Need change, accept uncertainty

Lack capacity for flexibility, corporate venturing, and speed

Established capacity for flexibility, corporate venturing, and speed




  1. Changing Strategic Direction, Peter Skat-Rordam

  2. Jack Welch and the GE Way, Robert Slater

  3. Direct from Dell, Michael Dell with Catherine Fredman

  4. Every Business is a Growth Business, Ram Charan and Noel. M. Tichy

  5. Creative Intelligence, Leadership, and the Challenge of the Future, Alan Rowe

  6. Strategic Management, Third Edition, Alex Mille

Sustainable Growth Strategies

Real Time Business Development

Assess Your Management of Business Opportunities

Smart Executive

Business Architect

Strategies for Leading Breakthroughs

Enterprise Strategies

Look at Your Company from Outside In As Well As Inside Out

Competitive Strategies

Sustainable Competitive Advantage

Winning Organization

Innovation-friendly Organization

Guiding Principles To Liberate Employees from the Fear of Trying New Things

Inspiring Culture

Strategies for Building a Growth Culture

Creating a Culture for Innovation

5 Strategies for Creating a Culture for Innovation

5 Strategies for Creating a Culture of Questioning


Systemic Innovation

Tao of Value Innovation

Jazz of Innovation: 11 Practice Tips

Turning Failures To Opportunities