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Mastering Uncertainty

Table of Contents


Preface

Chapter I.     Uncertainty And Advantage

Chapter II.    From Advantage To Strategy

Chapter III.   Pioneer Strategy

Chapter IV.   Pouncer Strategy

Chapter V.    Hedging Strategy

Chapter VI.   Strategy Selection

Further Reading

Conceptual Map

Acknowledgements

About The Author

Preface


    Now more than ever, corporations big and small face economic and market uncertainty created by inconsistent government economic and financial policy, unknown and unexpected competitors, rapid technological changes, and more.  So how do you plan for the future without knowing what the market environment will be or what inadvertent changes government policies and regulation will cause?  How do you craft a strategy to position yourself for a competition you know will emerge, but about which little is known or even knowable for some time?  How do you prepare for the upheaval that technological changes – particularly new web business models – will cause among both markets and competitors?  Quite simply, in the absence of vision and feedback, how do you lead? 


    Well, the latest rage in management strategy is to advise those of you facing uncertainty to innovate, innovate, innovate.  The problem is, if you read all that advice carefully, you discover the first paradox – that you need a vision to guide the innovation.  But isn’t the essence of uncertainty the fact that there is no easy formation of a vision?  Indeed, there are painful penalties for producing the wrong vision.  Then there is the paradox of innovation – innovation itself can create uncertainty, like all the financial innovation that nearly caused another Great Depression.


    If the answer were as easy as innovation there wouldn’t be so many firms facing uncertainty.  It requires a lot more thought.  Leaders facing periods of uncertainty cannot form (some would say cannot risk forming) a simplistic focus on innovation.  Not that you shouldn’t innovate.  But the point of uncertainty is that you don’t know in which direction to innovate.  Yet you still have a need to prepare for a market you know is changing and to beat a competition you know will emerge.  And that is what this book is about – preparing you for the task ahead – facing the uncertainty and learning how to master it.