Coping With Ambiguity


Coping With Ambiguity

A wonderful article about Competitive Intelligence by my friend and colleague Ben Gilad & Magnus Hoppe was published recently in the Harvard Business Review. Here is a brief overview of the article.

While mistakes allow individuals to learn and grow, they can also be very costly to any company. You may recall the Maggi’s Noodle Crisis in 2015 in India, which resulted in a loss of $277 million in sales, a five-month ban on Maggi and a cost of $70 million in the recall. The damage to the brand name was even larger – half a billion dollars. Paul Buckle, Nestle’s CEO, was quoted by Fortune as saying, “This is the case where you can be so right and yet so wrong… We live in an ambiguous world. We have to be able to cope with that.”

Nestle was not able to cope with that – but a competitor was.

Baba Ramdev, owner of the fastest growing local consumer goods company in India, took advantage of Nestle’s mistake by launching a product advertised as ‘healthier’ and at a lower price point than Maggi.

The really frustrating thing about the story above, is that so few companies learn from such mistakes.

So what can you do to avoid similar mistakes in the future?

According to Gilad and Hoppe, “we must start to think differently about how business, management, and strategic intelligence works. What companies today need isn’t meticulous plans, but to constantly reassess the business and its markets and competitors.“

How often do you reassess your business environment? How can different areas of management work together on creating insights that have real competitive implications?

Below are four radical changes that will get the ball rolling for you:

 

  1. Manage talent differently – recruit different mindsets. Self-hiring is indeed most dangerous in an ambiguous world.
  2. Use competitive intelligence differently – think of it as a process for organisational thinking to outsmart competitors in an ambiguous world.
  3. Work together – with decision makers for better outcomes
  4. Study personal use of intelligence – understand how intelligence is used to enhance organizational learning

Want to read the full article: https://hbr.org/2016/06/the-right-way-to-use-analytics-isnt-for-planning

How are you coping with ambiguity?

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