When one door closes another door opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the ones which open for us.
|--Alexander Graham Bell|
In a market characterized by accelerating complexity and increasing customer expectations, moving along the Continuum from idea to market unimpeded is like driving through downtown Manhattan without ever encountering a red light—it never happens. Projects always take longer than expected and cost more than planned, and the development, marketing, and sales teams all periodically loose momentum and motivation. On top of that, the economy is like the flight deck of an aircraft carrier in rough seas, in that a pilot attempting to land a jet can never be quite sure if it will be a soft landing or a spine-jolting slap.
Getting stuck at various points along the Continuum is simply a fact of life. In this regard, a CEO is like a plumber, in that at least part of the job involves locating bottlenecks—structural, process, or organic—in what should be a smoothly operating system. Although every company's problems are different, they tend to cluster in three areas: the underlying technology, the structure and internal functioning of the company, and the capricious marketplace. Figure 5.1 lists the most common sticking points in each of these three areas.
Figure 5.1. Sticking Points
Product development ...