Strategy in an Era of Exponential Change
Intercepting Horizons was founded by three senior executives who have identified a gap in existing strategic planning processes. We learned over decades of successfully chasing Moore’s law that it is possible to develop a time enriched strategic planning process to intercept key horizon lines and stay up with and sometimes ahead of exponential change.
Existing planning cycles are no longer effective in the current state of technology changes and industry transitions that occur at exponential rates. We believe that integrated strategic planning needs to occur in continuous, iterative short cycles, in response to fast changes in technology and the interaction of multiple horizons - we have done to strategic planning what Agile did to software development. We have further enhanced the methodology by adding the influences of time dependent activities, complexity management and networked systems.
We have done to strategic planning
what Agile did to software development.
Today most governance and management teams face the task of understanding and effectively deploying 21st century technologies with a 20th century mindset and organizational structures based on 19th century institutions. Consequently, we have seen numerous companies who were once dominant in their respective domains lose market leadership and rapidly disappear. Nokia, Blockbuster, Kodak and Lucent are just a few examples.
In today’s exponential era changes are accelerating at unprecedented rates, and companies that don’t keep up are becoming what we call ‘Flash Boiled Frogs’™. By the time they identify and discern critical path horizons (points of departure between existing and future trends, technologies, structures, policies, environments, etc.) in the distance, at today’s exponential rate of change the horizon line has moved from an opportunity to a threat. The slowness of companies’ responses in the face of exponential change renders them boiled in a flash.
In today’s exponential era changes are accelerating at unprecedented rates, and companies that don’t keep up are becoming what we call ‘Flash Boiled Frogs’™.
The implication to businesses is that the planning processes of the past are no longer effective. We need a new model and methodology for strategic planning that accounts for converging horizons that are changing at an exponential rate. We cannot make decisions over timeframes that ignore the rapid movement and the convergence of horizon lines in science, technology, economy, environment, society, politics and ethics. And we can no longer afford to produce stacks of paper that sit on a shelf for several months or years or get revisited when the financial engineering tactic of the day plays out.
We need a new model and methodology for strategic planning that accounts for converging horizons that are changing at an exponential rate.
We know that whether a horizon line change becomes a threat, or an opportunity, will depend on an organization’s ability to determine changes in the content, direction, convergence and speed of a multiplicity of horizons. And subsequently to discern the timing and sequence to intercept them. The key is to realize that in the exponential era all the horizon lines that can potentially impact an organization will move quickly.
The partners and domain experts at Intercepting Horizons have collectively accumulated innumerable years of strategic planning processes, methodologies and experiences. We’ve studied books, papers, participated on CXO strategy panels, and taught at the university graduate degree level on subjects ranging from business development, strategic leadership and advanced modeling to innovation in cyber security. And we’ve built consulting, software, training and hard product companies in instrumentation, filtration, materials, lithography, testing, robotics and more. We have done our deeds at scale from startups to multi-billion-dollar market cap public and private companies and we are innovating new strategic planning methodologies for the exponential era.
“Sustainable advantage will accrue to those who can create a culture at scale and at speed that will access, aggregate, analyze and act on DATA faster than the competition anywhere in the world at anytime.” Wright/Ferguson, The New Business Normal (2005)