The Executive Guide to Finding Business Opportunities
by Paul Sacco
In Strategy Quest: The Executive Guide for Finding Business Opportunities, you will learn how to achieve the strategic mindset necessary to create and decide on the business opportunities that will put you ahead of your competition.
Using the psychology of personality type, you will understand how to make the shift to this growth mindset. In Strategy Quest, you will learn that the strategic mindset is composed of Strategic Intuition and Strategic Thinking. Strategic Intuition creates strategic visions and concepts, while strategic thinking decides if these are genuinely strategic and the right choice for your business.
Strategy Quest uses business examples to show what the strategic mindset is and isn’t. The book also equips you with the tools that you will need for your Strategy Quest and shows you how to overcome the obstacle that you might encounter.
The strategic mindset possesses the ability to create an authentic vision and determine whether it is a strategic opportunity that is right for your business. The strategic mindset exists in two different modes. The first is called strategic intuition, and the second is called strategic thinking.
Strategic intuition is creative intuition directed toward achieving a strategic goal, and it results in strategic visions and concepts. Strategic thinking determines if a concept, created from a vision, is both a strategic opportunity and is the right choice for your business. As will be explained, strategic thinking is different from other forms of convergent thinking.
Strategy and the Strategic Mindset
One can’t achieve a strategic mindset without understanding strategy. Michael Porter’s description of strategy reads, “Competitive strategy is about being different. It means deliberately choosing a different set of activities to deliver a unique mix of value” (1). Every strategy course presents Porter’s description, yet, they fail to teach their students how to create a “unique mix of value.” It takes strategic intuition to create a different set of activities (i.e., a concept) and strategic thinking to understand if these activities are realistic and create enough value at an appropriate level of risk.
A business requires a different set of activities so that they can gain ground or distance on competitors by increasing its value at a faster pace. A business is not being competitive if it undertakes the same activities and grows at the same pace as its competitors. It must create something new, and this is why strategic intuition is needed. I specifically use the phrase strategic intuition to distinguish it from general creative intuition. Whereas creative intuition includes artistic endeavors, strategic intuition creates utilitarian business visions and concepts.
Because strategic concepts are new, it is impossible to prove them with absolute certainty. In advance of an acquisition, a business can perform due diligence but can’t conclusively prove that the deal will deliver its anticipated benefits. Executives must take moderate risks if they are to find strategic opportunities. While products and services can be test-marketed, strategic concepts are too complex.
The failure of business schools to teach the strategic mindset does a real disservice to executives. Today, entrepreneurial visions are resulting in start-ups that are disrupting entire industries. Risk has come full circle and now resides with those who depend on strategic analysis as a result of their lack of a strategic mindset.
In a 1996 article, Michael Porter wrote that “many of the greatest [competitive] advantages come not from analysis, but from entrepreneurial creativity and insight” (1). Roger Martin, the former dean of the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto, stated in a presentation to the ArtCenter College of Design that “strategy is a creative process” (2). The late management guru, Peter Drucker, said that “the best way to predict the future is to create it.”
About the Author
As President of Propheta Lucro Management Consultants, Paul specializes in helping leaders find strategic opportunities. One of the world's top experts in strategic thinking, Paul has over 35 years of experience managing and leading businesses. He is a graduate of the University of Toronto holding both a B.A. Sc. in Chemical Engineering and an MBA from the Rotman School of Management. Paul is available to speak about business strategy or to teach, coach or facilitate the Strategy Quest method. For more information visit our web-site at: www.prophetalucro.com Or contact Paul at: Email: Paul@prophetalucro.com
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