Most companies are content to pursue adaptation strategies in times of high uncertainty – sense and respond quickly to events as they unfold. While adaptation is certainly valuable, it misses a much greater opportunity – the ability to shape entire markets or industries in ways that create significant advantage for the shaper. While most disruptive innovation strategies focus on a single company betting heavily on a disruptive approach to the market, shaping strategies emphasize the opportunity to mobilize a very large number (thousands and, in some case, millions) of other participants to leverage investment and accelerate learning. As a result, shaping strategies can succeed with small initial moves, smartly made, that set big things in motion. This talk will review examples of successful shapers in the past to determine the key elements that determine the success of shaping strategies.
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