Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Attention deficit strategy

Concepts of media 2.0 have put the spotlight on attention as a limiting factor or resource. One point usually unnoticed by us students of strategy is that dealing with attention-deficitness is the basis of strategy. Consider, why we strategize: The primary reason is that managerial attention is a valuable limited resource and it needs to be focussed on areas where its effect is the highest. Porter, in his seminal article in HBR - 'What is Strategy' - defines the essence of strategy as 'deciding what NOT to do'. Now note that he does not define strategy as deciding what to do - by defining strategy as the act of ignoring areas which are not important, Porter highlights the importance of focus - the need to concentrate attention on areas that matter.

Most of us totally ignore (or are unaware) of the fact that attention is a scarce resource in our everyday life too. While we could pursue almost everything we are saddled with, what we choose to do defines us.
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