So when you think about success what definition do you use?  Have you got a good one?  In reading The Strategy Paradox I tripped across an interesting one: "Success is very often the result of having made what turned out to be the right commitments (good luck), while failed strategies, which can be similar in many ways to successful ones, are based on what turned out to be the wrong commitments (bad luck) (p. 4)."

What do you think about that one?  Now, don’t get hung up on the idea of luck.  The point is that if a key contributor to strategic differentiation from other organizations is choosing a distinctive approach, and that choice must be made while things are yet uncertain, then there will be some organizations that make early commitments to strategies that seem good…but don’t work out.  Yesterday I mentioned the two main examples, Sony’s Betamax and MiniDisc products.  Well thought out and seemingly winning strategies that missed.  And the problem was that the bet was significant…and wrong.

A key idea in The Strategy Paradox is that despite the uncertainty, there are avenues to mitigate the risk.  We’ll talk about that in the next post.  Want to follow along?  You can sign up right here.

The Definition of Success?