A Single-Minded Focus – When “Muddling Through” Becomes The Norm

by | May 10, 2022 | Productivity, Innovation

Business leaders often have a single-minded focus on productivity and efficiency, built on adherence to best practice and standard procedures which are easily absorbed into the fabric of the business and ensure a relatively high degree of reliability. This, combined with intense focus on the proverbial spreadsheet (like all competitors) can destroy creativity, create false comfort, while blocking necessary change and result in incrementalism (muddling through) quickly becoming the norm. This very adherence to established practice and procedure, critical for participating in the business/industry undermines the business’ potential as a source of competitive advantage.
If the leading competitors all follow each other. returns in the industry will be driven down to competitive levels and economic advantages will be lost once enough firms reach best-practice levels of efficiency. No matter the level of efficiency a firm achieves in a given activity or process, it is only a matter of time until competitors match or exceed it considering “best practices” are built on industry available knowledge. In highly competitive environments, it is more often a matter of a few months or even a few years at best.
Developing dynamic capabilities in sharp contrast are future – focused and involve critically evaluating external and internal challenges and opportunities, decision making about future direction, ensuring access to the resources the firm will need, and implementing the appropriate organisational design. The business will have to measure critical elements impacting on its ability to execute on its innovation strategy.
Dynamic capabilities involve more managerial thought combined with a strongly developed perception of the business’ ability to innovate, supported by facts and are embedded in the company through the company routines and culture resulting in their own unique processes which cannot easily be replicated by competitors and which provide a foundation for competitive advantage.

Strategy Is Not a Direct Outcome of Dynamic Capabilities

Strong dynamic capabilities align the chosen business model requirements with the business environment and the demands of agile operation. Strategy links the dynamic capabilities of the firm and specifies in greater detail how the firm’s assets will be used to implement its business model and win customers. Effective strategy and a dynamically capable organisation are interdependent elements of a high-performance company giving rise to sustainable competitive advantage. This interdependence was implicit in a comment by Lou Gerstner when he was starting as CEO of IBM: – “you have to be fast on your feet and adaptive or else a strategy is useless.”
For companies wanting to achieve sustainable success an innovation management system will ensure that innovations aren’t left to chance. Innovation management shapes the structures and framework of the innovation process to ensure that potential innovation are systematically identified, ideas generated and then successfully implemented.

Entrepreneurial And Innovative Leaders Display and Develop Strong Dynamic Capabilities

Highly effective business leaders develop and test emerging technological ideas and marketplace trends. They devise and refine new business models, make the necessary R&D and related investments, and creatively assemble and orchestrate the required assets inside and outside the business – Infusing their entrepreneurial approach throughout the company.
Strong leadership is critical to developing and driving a vision, achieving unity of purpose, and producing consistent action, particularly so when difficult changes need to be implemented or corporate culture has to be revamped.

InnoDynamiX Management Systems

InnoDynamiX Management Systems assists companies to develop and implement an innovation process – enhancing their business’ dynamic capabilities & potential.
We offer a focused, ecosystem of business professionals and specialists, delivering outstanding management support in the pursuit of innovation and sustained relevance demanded by today’s highly competitive business markets. Our key differentiator is our dedication and unique approach to the management of innovation.



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