Defining Victory

Is your business capable, challenged or lost?

Jockey Jesus Lopez Castanon, riding Shackleford, crosses the finish line to win the 136th Preakness Stakes in Baltimore. Photo: UPI


In the first part of this three-part series on entrepreneurship and the CIO by Jorge L. Lopez of the Gartner Group, we explored the definitions of an entrepreneur and entrepreneurial tasks. Now, we consider a simple but vital question: How does the CEO know when it’s time to focus on entrepreneurship? 

[See Part 1: Risky Business  >

CEOs have many things vying for their attention and investment. How do they know whether they need to focus on entrepreneurship as the most important or decisive choice? To answer that, one must answer the key question for CEOs: If the business were to continue in its current direction, with no substantial change to its products and service offerings, what would be the outcome?

The answer to this question falls into one of three categories: competitively capable, competitively challenged, or competitively lost.

\Competitively Capable

The competitive landscape is progressing slowly enough that there will be no significant change ahead, so very little change is needed. This may be more because of regulatory constraints than competitive forces. Focus on sustaining the quality that exists for current offerings. There is little need for the driving forces of the entrepreneur in such stable situations, unless the strategy is to build a breakaway situation for the business and drive the change in the market or industry.