Planned Opportunism, from weak signals to opportunity spaces

“Planned opportunism” is Vijay Govindaraja’s term for responding to an unpredictable future by paying attention to weak signals—early evidence of emerging trends from which it is possible to deduce important changes in demography, technology, customer tastes and needs, and economic, environmental, regulatory, and political forces. That attention gives rise to fresh perspectives and nonlinear thinking, which help an organization imagine and plan for various plausible futures. Planned opportunism is a discipline that creates a “circulatory system” for new ideas; develops the capacity to prioritize, investigate, and act on those ideas; and builds an adaptive culture that embraces continual change.

We couldn’t agree more and highly recommend reading the article at https://hbr.org/2016/05/planned-opportunism .    The messages expressed align very well with our approach re Trends mgt and the identification of opportunity spaces.

Knowing when it is time to reinvent

HBR magazine December 2015

No business survives over the long term without reinventing itself. But knowing when to undertake strategic transformation—when to change a company’s core products or business model because of impending industry disruption—may be the hardest decision a leader faces.

Five interrelated “fault lines” can indicate that the ground beneath a company is unstable and that it’s time for radical change. The authors’ fault line framework addresses basic issues: whether the business serves the right customers, uses the right performance metrics, is positioned properly in its industry, deploys the correct business model, and has employees and partners who possess the capabilities required for future success. The framework can help executives build a case for change and persuade stakeholders to support the decision. And by identifying gaps between an organization’s current state and where it needs to be to continue to thrive, it can inform the vision of how the company must transform.

Diagnostic questions and an in-depth look at the health care company Aetna—an organization in the midst of an ambitious transformation effort, where one of the authors (Mark Bertolini) is CEO—illuminate how to detect the fault lines while there’s still ample time to respond.

Read more. or check our service offering “Futures Readiness Scan”.

The hard evidence – Business is slowing down

An eye opener, data from a top corporate consultant shows where—and why—decision-making is getting clogged.   My personal view is that many organizations are trying to solve today’s organizational issues with yesterday’s solutions.   Undoubtedly we are facing an ever increasing complex and unpredictable world requiring a fundamental rethink of how organizations are run.   The article referenced to illustrates this by clear evidence.

Read the full article