Companies everywhere labour under the illusion that the key to a great strategy is a good handle on the future. But meteorologist Edward Lorenz demonstrated that small differences can have massive consequences or none at all, which means that unless you have a perfect, complete picture of existing conditions, forecasting the future with any precision is impossible. Instead, advises Bain’s Michael Mankins, companies should focus on making themselves better able to cope with unexpected changes. For strategy, that involves instilling an adaptive mindset among managers, building in flexibility into operations, creating dynamic plans.
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