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A leader is a dealer in hope.Napoleon Bonaparte

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Prepare future avenues for growth

Prepare future avenues for growth

Companies cannot always grow based on their existing offering. Indeed, circumstances may require venturing outside their core business. How to avoid the main pitfalls of taking a leap into the unknown?


For decades, companies of every size and performance level have missed out on incredible growth opportunities. Xerox is probably the most well-known example. The revolutionary technologies developed at the company’s Palo Alto research center propelled Adobe, 3Com and others to the top, yet Xerox itself failed to spot the potential of these technologies and capitalize upon them.

At the other end of the spectrum, companies like Apple, Tata Motors and Hilti tools were smart enough to seize transformation opportunities which their competitors did not recognize or put into action. Much has been written about the visionary quality of the leaders of these firms. But these companies are distinguished in particular by their ability to analyze and identify strategic opportunities and launch successful new businesses based on this analysis.

Naturally, a certain degree of uncertainty is involved in creating any new business, and major transformations may also be required. However, a study of blockbuster successes shows that companies can often minimize the risks by applying three key success factors:

- Stop asking customers what they want to buy. Instead, observe the problems they are attempting to solve in their everyday lives to identify undreamed-of opportunities to add value.

- Don’t be hobbled by the economic model of your core business. Start from scratch to avoid imposing needless constraints on the new business.

- Experiment abundantly. Validate or invalidate your assumptions and intuitions as far upstream as possible in order to adapt new ideas and gradually reduce the degree uncertainty.

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