Here’s the scene: A problem has come up with one of your supply chain vendors, threatening to delay timely shipment of your product. At the same time, a potential opportunity appears that, with some exploration and investment, could lead to a new generation of products down the road. Which do you respond to first?
You probably reach for your firefighter’s hat to extinguish the short-term problem. And therein lies a bigger problem. Leaders and organizations are under more stress than ever to do two things simultaneously: deliver on today’s pressing commitments by troubleshooting and refining processes; and find and invest in innovation opportunities that will create tomorrow’s success. How your organization responds to this stress in allocating scarce resources is a crucial but often unaddressed issue. The natural bias is to respond immediately to what is in front of you (like answering endless emails as they come in, for instance). The problem is, this instinct crowds out longer term, innovative thinking.
R article and graph