Importance Of Variety

"...Variety matters. Genetic variety, within and across species, is nature's insurance policy against the unexpected. A high degree of biological diversity ensures that no matter what particular future unfolds, there will be at least some organisms that are well suited to the new circumstances......put simply, if the range of strategic alternatives your company is exploring is significantly narrower than the breadth of change in the environment, your business is going to be a victim of turbulence. Resilience depends on variety..."

Gary Hamel et al, 2003

Furthermore, organisations

"...should steer clear of grand, imperial strategies and devote themselves instead to launching a swarm of low risk experiments..."sometimes called"...stratlets..."

Gary Hamel et al, 2003

On the other hand,

"...the aversion to unplanned variability has metastasised into a general antipathy towards nonconforming and the deviant. This infatuation with conformance severely hinders the quest for resilience..."

Gary Hamel et al, 2003

For resilience to work, organisations need to invest in new projects that have the potential to substantially change customers' expectations and/or industry economics. Furthermore, there needs to be a broad portfolio of experiments, rather than betting on one big idea.

Traditionally the prerequisite for instigating an evaluation process for new ideas is that they have to have a boss who is on side; the idea has to be "big enough" to warrant senior management attention; executives who are willing to divert funds from existing projects; an mentor to bring the whole thing together. Owing to the cumbersome nature of this process, most new ideas do not make it!!

Organisational size is only a barrier to resilience if it allows the organisation to delude itself that success is self-perpetuating. Any organisation that

"...can make sense of its environment, generate strategic options, and realign its resources faster than its rivals will enjoy a decisive advantage. This is the essence of resilience...."

Gary Hamel et al, 2003

According to John Pearce et al (2006) part of resilience involves 2 rules for survival, ie making the organisation recession proof and fighting, ie

a) organisation recession proof by

i) position the organisation among the less vulnerable customers by diversifying into multiple markets and regions

ii) plan to confront declining sales by quick diagnosis and cost cutting

b) fighting

iii) promote products aggressively by maintaining advertising expenditure

iv) invest in the future by introducing new products and attracting new customers


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