The benefits of failing fast

In a recent conversation with a friend of mine, CEO of a small Consulting firm, he explained me how he energized his small company using Lean Startup principles and tools. Especially when it comes to answer calls for tender or a request for a proposal, Frederic (his name) has gotten pickier. “My test, he said, … Continue reading The benefits of failing fast

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How Lean can help startups – Do not repeat mistakes of established companies 1/2

If there is one way Lean can help startups, it is to provide guidance or "Lean inspiration" from the very beginning and prevent them reproducing the same mistakes of long-established companies. >Lisez cet article en français Most established businesses are built on an outdated model in most cases: the mass production of low variety products, … Continue reading How Lean can help startups – Do not repeat mistakes of established companies 1/2

6 questions to frame your brilliant development idea

I was fortunate to interview Eli Schragenheim, well-known expert of Theory of Constraints, during his visit in our offices in Paris, October 2015. This interview is about the 6 questions to challenge, question, test or frame any new development of technology, product or service. These 6 questions are: What value does it bring? What current … Continue reading 6 questions to frame your brilliant development idea

How Lean can help startups – Introduction

This post is an introduction to a series of articles dedicated to Lean and start-ups, more specifically: how Lean can help start-ups. Lean was revealed as “Lean Manufacturing” before spreading to virtually all business sectors and evolve to Lean Management. Lean has long been seen as an approach (approach or philosophy) specific to existing businesses … Continue reading How Lean can help startups – Introduction

Want to avoid disruption? Then keep exploring

Barry O'Reilly

Article for The Economist Insights

Want to avoid disruption? Then keep exploring Want to avoid disruption? Then keep exploring

Businesses have always come and gone, but these days it seems that companies can fall from market dominance to bankruptcy in the blink of an eye. Kodak, Blockbuster and HMV are just a few recent victims of the rapid market disruption that defines the current era.

Where did these once iconic companies go wrong? To my mind, they forgot to keep challenging their assumptions about what business they were actually in.

Businesses have two options when they plan for the road ahead: they can put all their eggs into one basket, and risk losing everything if that basket has a hole in the bottom, or they can make a number of small bets, accepting that some will fail while others succeed.

Taking the latter approach, and making many small bets on innovation, transforms the boardroom into a roulette…

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