TheUnemploymentDojo's Blog

The Perpendicular Strategy! The Art Of Demarginalized Thinking..

Posted on: April 3, 2013

It’s been almost 5 years since the great recession went in to action. Many people have  lost or changed at least one job within the last 5 years and more have lost businesses or have been forced to declare bankruptcy within the same time. It’s no secret that while other businesses are failing miserably, some are high rolling and recording some of their best profits ever realized. Before i get in to what these “high rolling” businesses are doing, let me first introduce you to a strategy i call “The Perpendicular Strategy” and here is the definition!

“The perpendicular strategy is the action of playing or becoming ignorant  for the sole purpose of taking action independent of bias. It’s principal purpose is to hedge on the very possible circumstance of “If we were to loose it all, what would we do…”  scenario and not from a branding strategy of being different but from a strategic style of being ignorant

Some companies have actually been pushing the limits by calling this innovation, but it goes a little beyond that. See innovation is all about creating problems that no one foresees and then providing stellar solutions. The Perpendicular strategy is all about seeing where the terrain is going and doing a 90 degree shift out of ignorance and hypothesis testing with minimal investment on resources to be used or by leveraging already existing infrastructure. Now to make this case even more transparent lets look at a case study!

One of the most successful entrepreneurs of the 20th century was Henry Ford who became famous not for inventing the automobile, but for commercializing it! Funny thing he figured out how to mass produce the car by breaking it into smaller pieces and using what is now known as the “assembly line” Where did he get this perpendicular line of thinking from? How about the meat packing industry!

Next, Netflix knew that people loved movies but hated late charges that Blockbuster was so notorious for! So what did they do? Combined an existing passion with existing infrastructure, the “mail service” and then created a “niche” business! To really push the pedal, they figured out how to deliver the product even  faster using a different delivery system, the internet! These two unique strategies, literally put blockbuster out of business!

While common sense dictates that we should get dividends from our investments, a lot of times those same investments be it a business, or a  relationship will drive us broke! It is psychological! It is emotion. Be willing to walk away whether things are good or not and leave behind the emotion!

So the question is when do you strategically think marginally and when do you continue with the current status quo?

Truth be told you should always be thinking strategically! Perpendicularly and de-marginally always! 3 main factors will kill your business and career just like the Roman and British empires ….complacency, comfort-ability and re-activity!

  1. Complacency-being content with what is and forgetting about what could be…
  2. Comfort-ability-thinking that what brought you here and now will take you there and then and finally…
  3. Re-activity- spinning all the resources to deal with arising crisis rather than allocating resources to predict future mishaps.

Finally here are 5 analysis questions to ponder on before you incorporate the perpendicular  system in your day to day activities!

  1. If i was to loose everything, where would i start. This forces you to only deal with what’s important.
  2. What is the minimum resource requirement to deliver the maximum benefit. Force multiplier strategy.
  3. Write down 60 most absurd ideas within 10 minutes everyday. Brainstorming on a time frame.
  4. What existing frameworks can you use to reduce the cost of strategy implementation.
  5. What prior myth in my industry must i completely be blind to before i start implementation!

To leave you with a point to ponder, Here is the fable about the two frogs longing for freedom. Both were caged in a jar and the only difference is that one had a lid while the other one didn’t. Every time the caged one tried to leap up high to get out of the cage,it bumped it’s head whereas the other one simply kept on jumping. It’s ignorance made him believe that he could do it. He added more stamina to his leap and his only dream was how he was going to leap out of the jar. The other one had bumped it’s head so many times that pain had become a secondary reflex. Rather than looking at the scenario from a perspective, that the lid had actually loosened up and that one more leap would have freed this poor frog, the frog thought about the pain it had amerced over time and finally gave up. The other frog with it’s marginal thinking and it’s perpendicular strategy leaped around the jar gathering momentum for the final gigantic leap which finally let him free!

Which frog are you?

PS. No frogs were harmed during the re-enactment of this fable.


1 Response to "The Perpendicular Strategy! The Art Of Demarginalized Thinking.."

Wow, nice The Perpendicular Strategy! The Art Of Demarginalized Thinking.. | TheUnemploymentDojo’s Blog Thanks keep it up.

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Lee Kariuki
1-888-MY-ETHER ext. 04466282

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