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  • Writer's pictureAdil Malia

Learn to Live and Win on the Edge

Our preoccupation with clinically attempting to define what the future would look like and what should thus be our approach in that future seems to be taking away from us the time edge that we have. No one can accurately predict the future because it is being co-created now. No one has an idea. It is as entertaining but futile like predicting the looks of your child to be born on the honeymoon night.

Fact is that future of enterprise is changing. But success in that challenge is not about investing time to crystal gaze and predict the shape of future as much as it lies in managing the various challenges that the changing landscape poses to our business.

Reality is that our ability to predict future more than half a decade ahead of current times is a futile indulgence in creativity. Half a decade is the best bet one can wager on.Success lies therefore in living on the edge, boldly exploring and moving ahead with adroit agility, exploring and proactively finding the future ahead of the others and thus capitalising the time advantage till the others catch up !

'The final Bet' - there is nothing like that in real markets. Strategy is created in motion. At best you need to keep your antenna up and read the situation to place your short-term bets on semi-coherent market directions to win on this Strategy wager.

Managing CHANGE is the central strategic challenge. Challenge is to react quickly, anticipate and explore without worrying wherever possible and thus leading the change wherever appropriate. Gain the time advantage and monetize it. If you think too much you might get frozen or may get fossilised.

When you live on the edge, you have to win on the edge....and winning on the edge can be dangerous. It does not guarantee anyone victory. For all one knows, you may lose all that you have, had you but wagered on status quo. But if you learn to live and win on the edge, your probabilities of survival are high. You may thus live to play another game and win that bet.

There are some quick lessons and best practices that can be distilled by observing the winners who lived and won on the edge. You could learn from that too.

Every thing is in motion You need to believe that all advantages are transient. Others will soon catch up with the winners. New technologies will make you lose your temporary advantages. Thus 'Edge' winners do not lie in the waiting after winning. They build further advantages on their advantages and go on.

Learn from the Past, Succeed in the Present, Reach out for Opportunities and reinvent your Business for the Future Those who do not live today well, may not rise to see another new morning ! Learn from the past. It will teach you the inter-linkages in the equations. Loosely structure the present to maximise your current advantages but build in sufficient flexibilities to accommodate the next short-term changes for that is evident and inevitable direction of change.Each new opportunity that you stumble upon needs to be converted to a 'P&L' advantage that creates value. Innovative reinvention of business alongside each new advantageous opportunity, is the role of leaders who win on the edge. Only those who win in the short run will live to see the future winning posts !

Mark the market rhythm and choreograph your dance of change.Edge leaders are market facing. They believe in quick market intelligence. They continuously read the rhythm of changes that happen in the market place and then they choreograph their pace and steps of change. Their internal insights are so strong that they know rather well which type of agile dance steps and movements would suit their body types better than some other. They keep refining their strategies based on what emerges from market intelligence. It is not a dormant, etched in stone process.

Patching Semi coherent Strategies to Market opportunities and on-going re-tailoring of Strategies Then the leaders slowly patch their strategy together...modifying at times, aligning at other times. They continuously realign businesses with emerging opportunities

One can never conclude or win any debate on a theme like 'Best Strategy for Change' for there is no such one- best strategy and there is no such competition. Survival in the short-term, with exploratory movements into the future with semi coherent strategies is your winning formula.

Learn to live and win on the edge. Everything else is flat.

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