Abstract: We studied a global leading engineering, design and consultancy firm with headquarters in Denmark. They have an interesting problem: most of what they do is client-based projects. Therefore, if you are the CEO of this firm and you would like to venture into Artificial Intelligence, then you need to examine whether you can, that is, whether the pipeline of possible client opportunities offer reasonable projects on artificial intelligence, and it may well be that the answer is no, but other interesting opportunities be interesting to pursue. And as we decide on a plan, the opportunities start changing again. In such context, strategy implementation is as a chess game going crazy. Pieces show up and disappear again, they may change their moving patterns, and you never know when your opponent’s queen might pop out of nothing next to your king. Unlike a chess player, skilled managers therefore do not ponder their options at length but instead seize opportunities when they present themselves. The research is not about engineering firms. We have seen similar issues across several organizations. This case is interesting because it serves as an extreme illustration for the tension between our strategy design – what we want to do, and what it is we can do in strategy implementation.

Citation (APA): Geraldi, J., & Oehmen, J. (2018). Don’t maximize value, minimize regret: Simple rules for early opportunity screening in volatile environments. Poster session presented at MIT System Design & Management Symposium 2018, Cambridge, MA, United States.

Download the poster here.

Below is a video of the presentation given at the SDM 2018 Symposium, Characterizing the Gap between Strategy and Implementation, at MIT. The presentation is held by Associate Professor Joana Geraldi, and starts at 1:33:00.