How to transition to new markets

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in Leaders & Managers,Leadership Skills

Big thinkers have developed a boatload of ideas to help established companies become entrepreneurial. Despite the help, it’s rare to find an established firm that creates radical new markets.

It’s not that the advice is bad, or that the companies disagree. It’s that change is hard.

This is because their teams already have the skills and experience to compete in existing markets—skills that make them good at exploitation and consolidation, ex­­actly what they need in a mature business.

Asking them to adopt completely new attitudes and skills as trail-blazers is too much. What’s required for exploration and colonization often conflicts with what’s needed for consolidation. The organization’s antibodies will go to work rejecting the new skills.

Solution: Create a network of feeder firms; scale them up into mass markets.

— Adapted from Fast Second: How Smart Companies Bypass Radical Innovation to Enter and Dominate New Markets, Constantinos Markides and Paul Geroski, Jossey-Bass.

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