Value creation in all domains, from product development to strategy, involves a process of creatively recombining existing elements in novel ways.1 James Burke, author of the PBS series Connections, which documents the origins of great discoveries, noted that: “ … at no time did an invention come out of thin air into somebody’s head … You just had to put a number of bits and pieces that were already there, together, in the right way.”2 Steve Jobs similarly characterized the design process as “keeping five thousand things in your brain … and fitting them all together … in new and different ways to get what you want.”3
The corporate strategist’s task is no different. It is to assemble available ...

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