Thursday, 22 November 2007

Quick research note - what indicates that a company is exploiting uncertainty? Or trying to reduce it?

In a Clausewitzian conflict, one's aim is to minimize your uncertainties, that is, to decrease friction.

In a Boydian conflict, one aims not to eliminate own uncertainties, but increase and exploit those of others.

Are there any external indicators which could be used to assess whether some activity is aimed towards reducing own uncertainties, or exploiting the existing ones (or creating new ones)? Could we classify some actions as inherently reducing and some as inherently exploitative? For example, could we say that radical innovation is typically exploitative, whereas incremental innovation tends to be uncertainty reducing?

Could we analyze a company from an external viewpoint and derive whether its strategic moves are towards exploitation or reduction?

(Note - I'm involved in a new product development research at Helsinki University of Technology's FutureLab of Product Design, and this blog also doubles as an extension to my research diary. Therefore, I do speculate much and test out ideas which might, with further thought, not make any sense at all. So please don't order rotten eggs and vegetables yet, but do feel free to comment. ;))

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