We often look at ideas as
all or nothing. We may implement one approach only, in time, to swing back to its

We should centralize business functions to save money. 

We should decentralize functions
to increase our responsiveness. 

We should focus on growing
by acquisition. We don’t need to foster
innovation. We just need to buy
companies that have innovated. 

We should only grow
organically. If we can’t innovate our
growth won’t be sustainable. 

We should manage by
hierarchy. Command and control is the
only way to make progress.

We need to manage by consensus
so everyone’s on board with our direction. 

New concepts, methods, and
tools rarely apply universally.

But how can we find the
right balance?

We could start by asking
ourselves (and our colleagues) a few questions: 

  • Where did this idea work before and why (strategy and tactics) was it successful?
  • What results did they get? What results do we expect?
  • Is this situation the same here as where this worked?
    • Industry, products, and services?
    • Culture and values?
    • Organizational competencies?
    • Management structure? (How and where are decisions made? By whom?)
  • If not, how is it different and what might we do to adapt this concept to our company?
    • Which parts do we think will work? Why?
    • Which parts won’t? Why?
    • Will partial implementation be valuable or will it undermine the idea completely?
  • Do I, or does anyone on my team, have first hand experience implementing this concept?
  • Are there any experts available that have done this before?
  • What are the risks? And mitigations?
  • What do we need to do to get started?

This list is not intended
to stall progress. It’s simply a sanity
check to help us reflect, adapt, and apply ideas where, how, and IF they apply.

It’s also by no means exhaustive. I’d love to hear what questions you’d add.