Anytime I meet with Presidents, VP’s or just the business owners of a company, I come in with no expectations whatsoever. I aim to be surprised. So, last week when I met with the President of an innovative construction company in Mexico, I was surprised.
I consider this company to be innovative because they developed a unique building, the only one, in the Baja region. And like any innovator, this innovation needs more attention. That’s where I come in.
Now, let me tell why I was surprised. Usually, when you talk to businessmen about innovation, all they want to know about is the ROI. They want to know that whatever you propose, will work. “If isn’t going to work, don’t talk to me” is what I hear.
But the guy I met the other day, he was different. He literally said: Here we’re all about leading our industry. And, to achieve that, we know that some things will not work. We don’t like reacting.
Whether or not they actually put this into practice on a daily basis is something I have to find out, but for now I like his mindset. When I think about strategy, I think about dealing with uncertainty. And, any good strategy involves risk. Heck, I’ll go ahead and say that if your strategy isn’t risky, it’s not a strategy worth pursuing.
The world of business is uncertain, and anyone who tells you otherwise is full of themselves. You’re better off creating the future than reacting to it.
The point: There are no absolute answers or sure things, and nothing lasts forever. Using frameworks to help lead and clarify your thinking about how you will succeed helps, but even still, a successful outcome is not guaranteed. In the end, as Roger Martin says, building strategy isn’t about achieving perfection; it’s about shortening your odds.