The Gut Feel: How intuition can lead you to success in business
Chapter Seven: Intuition and Growth
This chapter looks at the times when watershed decisions are required to be made that will affect the future direction of the venture. The concept of entrepreneurial chess is introduced where the consequences of your future moves can be thought out beforehand.
Intuition and Growth
From time to time opportunities may emerge that have potential to change the whole nature of the business and propel it to a much higher growth plain far in excess of where naturally occurring growth would take you. You may have spotted a golden opportunity, but golden opportunities have their price. These opportunities or forks in the road present clear choices that require following distinctive and different tracks from what may have been originally envisaged by the entrepreneur during the initial conception of the enterprise. Further these are not choice paths that one can follow in any incrementally ad hoc way through trial and error and retreat if you don’t like it. The decision may require the additional injection of capital, a massive leasing agreement on a new piece of equipment like in the printing industry where new printing presses can cost more than a million dollars, the move to a new and larger premise which may require a hefty lease commitment, and/or the addition of new equity partners. Therefore a definite and definitive decision is required.
The path you eventually take may be dependent upon your personal objectives, ambitions, and vision. However you may not have much of a choice because failing to take the opportunity, like upgrade on printing equipment to take on new business available may leave you in an uneconomical and declining segment of the market where the firm may not be able to survive indefinitely. You may be happy where you are but can’t afford to ignore what is occurring in the competitive environment. These decisions may mean survival in the long term, so the stakes in these decisions are important and the process of making these decisions can be agonizing, stressful, torturous, worrisome, and again a matter of intuitive contemplation.
Growth forces decisions and decisions require thinking about what possible factors lay ahead for the firm. Since making decisions about future paths requires deep commitments, risk, and no doubt hard work, various options must be considered carefully.
One way to mentally look at different scenarios is through what I call playing entrepreneurial chess. Entrepreneurial chess is just like playing a game of chess in the mind. There are pieces which represent yourself and different players on the board. The board represents the environment and market that you are operating within. During the game each piece has a different value, just like a chess game which is representative of your product, resources, capabilities, and networks compared to others, giving you specific advantages or disadvantages which play out on the board. Mentally you can imagine yourself on the chess field and ask yourself what will be the effect of your move?, what will the other players do?, etc. Just like a game of chess.
Figure 7.1. The Entrepreneurial Chess Board
Through entrepreneurial chess you can see whether your strengths give you advantages vis-á-vis others. How can competitors frustrate you? Where are you free to move? Where are you restricted? This helps you turn your mind into the mind of the strategist.
For example, if you want to launch a range of children’s clothing that are imported from China, what would you do;
Entrepreneurial chess can be played on a local, national or international scale. It’s a tool to aid you in thinking out different scenarios for expansion of your venture. This is the way many entrepreneurs think and it helps you to identify the issues for closer consideration and run through different scenarios quickly in your mind. Entrepreneurial chess is a good way of sizing up your chances of success if certain moves are made.
Running mental scenarios is important in seeing the potential consequences of each contemplated part of growth and harnessing your powerful intuition to play out strategic games which help you understand the consequences of your potential actions much more clearly. This doesn’t require super intelligence, but just training your intuition to look in all directions before you cross the road.
· The entrepreneur will face necessary monumental decisions about the future direction of the venture from time to time.
· Sometime these new directions must be taken for the survival of the firm.
· One way to assess the consequences of any potential move is to think like a chess game and consider the consequences of any potential move before making it.
Some More Intuition and growth Tips:
· Run back through some decisions you have made in the past and re-look at the potential options you had at the time and the consequences. This will help you understand the method for when the next major decision comes up.
Next Chapter: Chapter Eight: Intuition and Keeping (or getting) out of trouble
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