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March 15, 2021

Emergent Strategies

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I want to highlight a misconception about intentionality that might be helpful to you. Intentionality is thought of as being very deliberate. You know exactly what you’re doing and why you're doing it. It’s something that you commit to doing without losing focus or getting distracted. That is why the term “deliberate strategy” is used to direct people around a common goal.

But I feel like that’s short-sighted. One fundamental thing a deliberate strategy is missing is context. You can be so focused and head down on a certain strategy that you miss the opportunities around you. You become blind to the way things are dynamically changing and are too occupied to consider that the original strategy might not actually the best fit. For that reason, it’s important to leave room to be flexible, which is why it’s often more appropriate to commit to an “emerging strategy” approach. 

With approach you're still intentional, but you’re intentional about the goal you’re looking to achieve and pursuing the path of least resistance to getting there. You can learn something new about the environment you’re working within that changes what you think is the best way to proceed. This is a very entrepreneurial approach, heavily relying on feedback to guide your next steps.

This should be refreshing though because no longer do you need to stay disciplined to a rigid strategy, but rather you stay disciplined to being observant of the dynamic context around you. I encourage you to embrace more of an emergent strategy so that you make progress in the best way possible, not just the way you thought was best in one singular context.

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