Finding courage in a position of strategic disadvantage

Strategically at a Disadvantage?

At the end of last year I read a fantastic book by Malcolm Gladwell – David and Goliath*. This book did a superb job of showing me how a perceived underdog in the market can use this position to out manoeuvre their opposition and in some cases steal the market from right in front of them (delivering the  David sucker punch).  Gladwell not only highlighted the strategic advantage that can be had from being the underdog but he goes on to prove how a pedigree (if I can extend the metaphor) of success at lesser praised institutions (such as top universities and corporations) can strategically and psychologically prepare and position a person to successfully displace Goliath’s in any market.

Coupling this with the recent launch of Bold ,by Peter Diamandis**, who literally challenges us to change the world, to dream of billion-person impacts. The call to action is to embrace the exponential, embrace the odds of cascading impacts. This involves the active re-engineering of our thinking to move away from linear problem-solving,  linear-risk taking and linear-returns.

What does this mean? Peter Diamandis says “within the next 10 years, 40% of the current Fortune 500 companies will no longer exist”.  This means that a massive opportunity exists for us today if we able to change from what he amply calls “exponential stress” to “exponential opportunity“! What does this mean? Perhaps the challenge you currently face is not as bad as you think, but an opportunity to positively turn a position of strategic disadvantage into one of disruption.

This means believing that 4 in 10 Goliath’s will be laying dead on the ground! How are you preparing yourself to be the next David?

  • A great summary talk on the key concepts of the book are delivered in a 50 minute discussion by Gladwell at Google offices can be found here
    ** Key concepts of this book and relating principles are discussed by Diamandis and Ferris at the Four Hour Work week podcast found  here

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