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Look To Infinity And Beyond To Develop the Optimum Strategy

Apr 7, 2008
Yet another way to approach the ideal best practice for locating changes in irresistible forces is becoming very effective in your use of Nth-degree searches (extrapolating the new irresistible force condition to a very extreme level to make the irresistible force's causes easier to see). In the beginning of your work in this area, your colleagues will tend to make two mistakes:

First, in pushing the condition to an extreme, your organization won't go nearly far enough. For example, if the repeat customer buying percentage is dropping by one percentage point per year, you might choose to look at the implications if the percentage drops by three percentage points a year instead. Actually, a better way to look at it is to assume that the drops that are likely to occur over the next twenty years occur overnight (20 percentage points of drop now).

In choosing the degree you look at, remember that you aren't trying to forecast the future. You are just trying to understand the causes and consequences of the current trend. The more you exaggerate the condition, you'll understand more important aspects of the condition and need less time and effort to do so.

Many operations fail to consider causes, preferring to treat symptoms. Having now started to look for causes, you may make the second mistake, which is not being disciplined to look far enough back toward the ultimate causes. For example, if you find a new direction in the buying habits of competitors' customers, you may be tempted to stop looking when you find that these customers' own customers are not buying as much. However, there is some reason why those customers' customers aren't buying. You need to press forward until you reach the ultimate cause.

While you may still be concerned about how complicated and time consuming these monitoring activities will be, there is another reason why your concerns are misplaced. You'll probably find that the more deeply you search, the simpler the task becomes.

Consider that you may be seeing dozens of variances from historical trends going on, but, on closer examination, they will often turn out to all be related to exactly the same irresistible force. For example, everyone is aware that there are tremendous pressures to reduce costs in the health-care area.

Health-care costs are simply rising too rapidly for what is affordable. That single irresistible force, however, can have hundreds of different specific impacts, each of which could be considered an irresistible force.

For instance, a hospital administrator may see a declining bed utilization rate in hospitals as an irresistible force all by itself. Yet the irresistible pressure to reduce health care costs actually drives the drop in bed utilization.
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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