August 21, 2019

2. Observation: Did Your Company See That Coming?

Jeff Stephenson

Jeff Stephenson
Co-Owner and Subject Matter Expert/RPSolved

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Before deciding on a route that your company will take, it is prudent to assess how fast and resilient the company is.

If your company is quick footed but short on endurance, your company should choose the shortcut through the woods instead of the long scenic trek across the foothills and vice versa.

Regardless of the route, in order to stay on track, your company must continue to commit to a specific vision and reinforce it with processes, resources, external relationships, and a culture that support their vision.  However, they must not resort to active inertia. By this I mean that your company cannot hope for different results by doing things the same way or in the same amount. The way may have worked in the past, but a new game requires new rules and equipment. Without the change it is just the same game under a different name.

Your company may struggle but it must also realize that the problem it currently faces most likely did not start yesterday and won’t magically fade away. Even if it does suddenly disapear, the same problems will be waiting patiently to rear their heads once the pendulum swings back in the future. These problems don’t follow a straight line but rather follow non-linear shifts which is what could catch your company off-guard.

As your company moves out of its comfort zone they increase their exposure to unanticipated changes from multiple directions. By putting all their eggs in one basket, your company could create a “sink or swim” situation. However, if they diversify its plans to create a solid base across multiple opportunities, the future can be a very bright one.

Regardless of the market, whether emerged, emerging or submerged, they all present opportunities for capitalization through new ingredients, combination of resources or shifting client expectations. One thing is for sure though; if your company look at any situation through “threat tinted glasses” then your company invite centralized control, minimal experimentation and focus on existing resources, all of which take your company’s eyes off of opportunities.


  1. Your company must watch their surroundings carefully, acknowledge the trends and be ready to capitalize or defend as applicable.
  2. An entity must be established within the cross-divisional framework in order to carry out this task as their primary responsibility. This entity must be adequately resourced, availed the latitude needed and most importantly the information they produce must be utilized and acted upon timely.

Explore the centralization of current offerings and explore long term joint ventures. Perform full feasibility study across the lifecycle identifying the constraints and benefits both short and long term.

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