When enterprising, doing things ‘the old way’ may not suffice. However, people often bring
predictive experience from previous jobs, and so they set up tasks that have no real point or
Causal logic says that you want to do something, so you set up tasks precisely to do
something. If we do A, we get B.
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For example, if you want to prepare French Onion Soup, you follow a recipe. You obtain and
prepare the ingredients. Finally, you follow the recipe instructions step-by-step. You are really
repeating a tried and tested formula.
In a new venture, things change rapidly, including goals. Effectual reasoning means that goals
emerge as you go. It is often pointless trying to set up predictive tasks. It is better to keep and
open mind and concentrate on getting from A to B in whatever way you can!
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Creating Stone Soup on the other hand, involves using the ingredients you have to
hand, or are able to obtain. You deal with each ingredient as best you can. By making do with
what you have and improvising, you produce a rich and satisfying soup.
You may not know your next step until it is upon you (because things change so quickly) and
often predicting the exact sequence of steps that you may need is completely pointless!
Improvise, and get your hands dirty. Remember, iteration and collaboration works well when
trying to improvise your way to a goal.
People often think that persistence and determination are the same thing. They are not.
Determination is about knowing that you can determine your future; that you have the power in
When you create your plan, it is a future that you have created, that you have determined. That
you can speak your word and, in the words of Jean Luc Picard, “Make it so!”
Just be aware, however, that in a new venture, goals change, and you may end up somewhere
new and different to where you intended…
AN UNDERSTANDING THAT PERCEPTION IS MUTABLE AND REALITY IS NOT
We have established that an enterprise changes reality as it progresses. However, you cannot
change the past. How you perceive things determines to a large extent the reality.
Perceptions are nearly always clouded by the past.
However, whereas the perception may change, reality is reality.
In a new venture, you often have to improvise and to tap your network resources and your
team’s feedback to realize the changes. Also, you may often need to reinterpret your past and
the present to create the changes you desire.
In a young enterprise there is often not the time to rigorously weigh the evidence to make an
The entrepreneur needs to develop strategic insight.
What is strategic insight? It is the ability to look at something – or to hunt for something – that
you need to add or remove to achieve a goal, and if you are unsure, ask your team’s opinion.
This feeds into improvising and acting in an effectual way.
PERSONAL AND GROUP GOALS: CREATED, SHARED & HONOURED
The most important factor of success is having goals. Without goals that are shared, goals that
are lined up, measurable and in a hierarchy of importance, you might as well forget about
whatever it is you want to do.
It is immensely important to make your goals known, to share them with everybody, and to let
everyone know how you are working towards them.
It is also a good idea to categorize goals: open- and closed-ended goals, personal and team goals, and overarching goals – that may include improving the world for those who live in it!
Also, remember that goals shift and change as you go.
EMBRACING THE EVOLUTIONARY AND ITERATIVE PROCESSES
We have mentioned again and again that as the enterprise grows, the world changes. In a
more practical sense, as you grow, your goals will change.
Some of the most successful businesses in the world started out doing one thing, and are now
doing something completely different.
Look at American Express - it started as a stagecoach company and now it is a credit card
You need to create a model that can evolve. When Lars and the team first launched XING, they took user feedback, altered the model, and were profitable within 90 days.
Remember, as you create a new reality, you uncover new goals and targets. This is acting in an
END OF CHANGING
In this section you learned about effectual reasoning and determination. You also learned about the relationship between reality and perception, and the importance of insight in a young enterprise. Finally, the section covered the importance of creating and sharing goals in an evolutionary and iterative process.
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