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 / Summer 2012 / Issue 67(originally published by Booz & Company)


Three Games of Strategic Thinking

And although many entrepreneurs have succeeded with Constructive Transformation, that approach does not lead to unquestionable success. For example, during the same period of irrational exuberance faced by Corning, RealNetworks achieved a stock price in excess of $350, nearly 50 times its current valuation. It is true that Rob Glaser’s net worth has grown by many multiples since the founding of RealNetworks, but it is far below the $5 billion peak he achieved during the bubble.

So open your mind to this broader range of paradigms for your tool kit. Is your future predictable or not? Can you control it, or will the environment control you? Know the game you are playing and how to apply each model, ideally with enough flexibility that you can switch from urn to urn, and game to game, when circumstances demand it.

Reprint No. 12203

Author Profiles:

  • Tim Laseter serves as a professor of practice at the Darden School at the University of Virginia and an evolving mix of leading business schools. He is the author or coauthor of four books, including The Portable MBA (Wiley, 2010) and Strategic Product Creation (McGraw-Hill, 2007). Formerly a partner with Booz & Company, he has more than 25 years of operations strategy experience.
  • Saras Sarasvathy is the Isidore Horween Research Associate Professor of Business Administration at the Darden School at the University of Virginia, author of Effectuation: Elements of Entrepreneurial Expertise (Edward Elgar, 2008), and coauthor of the textbook Effectual Entrepreneurship (Routledge, 2011). Her award-winning research focuses on the cognitive and behavioral micro-foundations of economics and entrepreneurship.


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