Vigilant organizations stay current by searching for weak signals of threats and opportunities—outliers that hint of what’s to come; taking time to figure out what they mean through probing and monitoring; and then making small bets early to learn more and gain a favorable position in the marketplace. Vigilant organizations can excel if they:
- Exercise vigilant leadership through deep curiosity, openness to diverse inputs, and emphasis on the long term.
- Adopt flexible and adaptive strategy-making processes that feature “outside-in” and “future-back” approaches and allow for the investigation of outliers.
- Invest systematically in foresight activities and small-scale experimentation, while deploying flexible, real-option approaches.
- Institute coordination and accountability for acting on weak signals, enabled by decentralization and an organizational alertness to share information broadly.