Speaking at Fortune’s CEO Initiative, Tim Cook mentioned that he always challenges new initiatives by asking: “Is this something that Apple has a special expertise on ?” “Do we have a right to talk about this?”
Large companies that are well diversified have to be very careful, their corporate image or brand is very delicate, and it can easily be shattered by big faux pas. Yet, both big enterprises and emerging start-ups need to venture into new and risky fields. Well, there are two main factors that need to be carefully evaluated: the size and the dynamics of the market and the critical success factors. If your evaluation of the market is off, well that can be disappointing, but if your evaluation of how your <shared critical capabilities> stack up with the critical success factors is off that can get you in big problems.
Often, people underestimate their <shared critical capabilities> because they only look at tip of a complex issue. They may also look at their capabilities without looking at the capabilities they share with their internal and/ or external partners.
Suppose you are looking at an emerging market that is booming. You want to be among the companies that are rushing in, but it may be tough. How expensive could an aborted attempt be ? Jeff Bezos submitted “ If you are good at course correcting, being wrong may be less costly than you think, whereas being slow is going to be expensive for sure”. So, in addition to meeting the obvious critical success factors, in case you have to pull out and, you may need strategic and organizational agility to be able to fail fast. And that depends also on the <strategy fundamentals> and on <structures of the organization> and on the <systems of management> that may orient the results on the short-term.
Well, management is complex and the acceleration of changes only make it more complex. Yet, neglecting complexity can make things critically complicated. Happy vacations !