Imagine a world without turnarounds – just well‐managed companies. Strategic exploration is the means to achieving strategic resilience. But how can senior managers build organizations where strategic exploration is the rule rather than the exception? First, by exhibiting the courage to explore, and second, by confronting the uncomfortable truths that such exploration might uncover. The article presents a simple but powerful framework, conceived by the Woodside Institute, for strategic exploration. The framework identifies which discoveries merit most attention (“strategic breakthroughs”), which deserve further consideration (“self‐discoveries” and “windows of opportunity”), and which will lead to the back of beyond (“duds”). Examples are drawn from IBM, AT&T, Intel, Sony, Cisco, Hewlett‐Packard, Nokia, Sun Microsystems, and the Coca‐Cola Company.
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