is what we suggest. One insurance company made a
long-range plan that there will be paperless in the future, which is logical. But then the CEO looked into
the paper forecast for the following year and it was
up 5 percent! The CEO decided to set paper growth at
zero the next year and start to decrease it the year after. He started the process to a paperless environment.
You could have the best long-range plan but it’s up to
the leaders to force the first step. If I set a goal that
50 percent of our business was going to be in emerging markets, but next year we’re only budgeted for 1
percent, we’ll never get that goal. Often big moves
are about the first step, which can be difficult.
Consulting: What are some other pitfalls to making big
Smit: We see that many companies don’t have the resources freed up ahead of making a big move. So we
would suggest that you should separate the improvement process from the resources. Typically, the current processes are not set up that way that the money
will be available when you make a decision.
Bradley: If I could back track for just a second: your
Consulting: Ultimately, what do you hope the book
previous questions asked why more companies
weren’t taking big risks. We’re saying companies
need to take less risks and they can do that by being
bolder. Let me connect those two things: The illusion
is that timid plans are safe but the world is very vio-
lent and competition is very severe and intense. The
status quo is actually the least likely outcome over a
ten-year period. On the Power Curve, industries are
just as likely to move up and down as companies are;
the world is not static. The really interesting thing
we found is that it’s not about being reckless; it’s ac-
tually the safest best to make the big move. Making
big moves almost uniformly increases your exposure
to upside and reduces your exposure to downside.
Now remember we’re talking about a ten-year peri-
od. Moving more than 6 percent of your resources
in any given year could be perceived as reckless, so
there’s a lot to be said about the companies that go up
the Power Curve doing it over an extended period of
time to actually put something together very special.
Big moves are not a one-time deal. That would be
risky and reckless.
Bradley: Our big mission is to help our clients unlock
the big moves they should make. It’s not coming in
with a theory but coming in with a very helpful solution addressing the social side of strategy. It’s also
about calibrating and well-formulated big moves.
We’ve got good science and good engineering and
we actually know what it takes to shift the odds.
Smit: The real ambition, I think, is that the strategic
discussions happening in board rooms will be different as a result of this book.
““All the work that we’ve shown and the data say the people that succeed make bigger moves than their competition. That sounds very easy but strategy and framework is never benchmarked that way. Making one or two big moves more than doubles your strategy’s odds of success—from 8 to 17 percent.