Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
Many managers think that avoiding uncertainties is a good thing to do. And if you have a lot to loose, the seems is a fair approach .
However, companies like Philips, Siemens, GE, Albert Hein, but also Microsoft, Apple, Google in their times have grabbed the risky opportunities and discovered new roads to fortune and became game changers.
But to go where nobody has gone, requires intuitive decisions and a lot of luck. Once the succes is there, people tend to explain this success to their competences, but it is not unlikely they were very lucky.
Every once in a while organisations are confronted with situations that require bold steps. To focus and mobilize the potential of the organizations it is then preferred to define stretched, but clever defined, targets, with no guarantee that they will be met (completely). If you limit your organzation to meet only rational and achievable goals, you may run the risk that the organization reaches the targets set, while your competitors surpass your organization.
An example is the transformation that the Lighting industry was undergoing in the last decade. It is moving towards LEDs (moving the competitive edge away from production technology, so old business models run obsolete), it is moving towards digital (new business models, from products to services). However, there is the possibility to unlock new business space, based on applying light for new biological functionality, focused on well-being and staying healthy.
I was asked to design and facilitate the proces of creating a vision and a roadmap with key people in the Lighting industry. It is a good example to help the companies in the industry with there own ambitions, positioning and roadmap, but also in affiliated industries and the European Commission and Countries to have ambitions defined and a visionary roadmap drawn, which indicates the right directions.