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Travel the Road Less Threatened to Succeed

Mar 22, 2008
You can overcome the effects of the underestimation stall by identifying and using the irresistible forces that are less threatening to your enterprise. For example, carefully analyzing your target customers and considering the way you serve them will enable you to sidestep certain irresistible forces in favor of others.

Which irresistible forces that you face now could you avoid if you changed your business model?

Note that this question is not designed to assume that you want to avoid these irresistible forces. It is designed to sensitize you to the risks that your current business model provides so that you can later decide which forces you want to be subject to and which ones you do not.

Creativity researchers have discovered that you'll do a better job of identifying alternative directions if you withhold your judgment concerning the alternatives until after you've identified all the possible choices you can.

You'll find it most helpful if you begin by looking at extremes. For example, if you now do business only on the Internet, what would be your changed exposure to irresistible forces if you never did business on the Internet? You can do the same for considering different target customers and ways to provide them with goods and services. You get the idea.

Which of the irresistible forces you can avoid contain risks worth eliminating?

Many companies believe that their stock-price multiples are held down by business volatility. But a few routinely sell stock near peaks in their multiples and buy back near multiple lows, thus reducing cost of capital while expanding its availability. These companies boast a stock-price premium compared to competitors. They turned a potential risk into a competitive advantage.

If, on the other hand, your enterprise would have a hard time with fad business conditions (and an irresistible force will make part of what your company does subject to fad trends in the future), working under those conditions might be something to consider avoiding. Conversely, if everything you do is about to become subject to fads, you may have not choice but to develop the skill to prosper in that type of environment. A little controlled experience with fads might strengthen your enterprise in that case, as happened with the companies who found added wealth in their stock-price multiple volatility.

Which irresistible forces give you the best combination of competitive insulation, manageable risk, and opportunities for exponential success?

Your answer to this question will be improved by involving as many people as possible from as many different types of work and psychological perspectives in your company. For example, if you have only financial people work on answering the question, they may eliminate irresistible forces that marketing and operations people see as desirable. One person's daunting irresistible force is another person's tiny hurdle.
About the Author
Donald Mitchell is an author of seven books including Adventures of an Optimist, The 2,000 Percent Squared Solution, The 2,000 Percent Solution, The 2,000 Percent Solution Workbook, The Irresistible Growth Enterprise, and The Ultimate Competitive Advantage. Read about creating breakthroughs through 2,000 percent solutions and receive tips by e-mail by registering for free at

http://www.2000percentsolution.com .
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