It’s so sad that we all know that one person who is too academic and rigid to succeed, maybe someone else who loves too much to make a good parent/spouse or that one person who is too tall to be a good basketball player. Perhaps we know that one person who listens to motivational CDs a bit too much, follows excessively his pastor’s advice and goes to church just too much to proper. It’s a sad but a likely place anyone can be in without balance.
Some things in their short term can be predictable and straight lined. However the concept of success and sustainable growth is not a linear curve, but a quadratic one. Like every inverted U curve, it has points of Exploitation and Exploration– Crest and Troughs; Maximum Points and Minimum Points of what worked.
Exploitation on one hand is the non changing-not to change; knowing what to continue in your life/your organisation. And on the other hand is Exploration; knowing what to either start or stop (even if it has once worked but about to stop working). And the secret to staying afloat, is seeing your business or life journey as a dynamic parabola with troughs to explore and crests to exploit.
Like the concepts of Limits and Continuity in Calculus, it’s great to always tend your variables towards your life crest using your troughs as points to learn, and points to explore. This is all in search for a predictable gradient. Knowing what to explore and what to exploit, knowing when to explore mainly and when to exploit mainly. It’s about finding that delicate balance like YingYangs do.
Exploitation is that leveraging phase of what you already know or have. Exploration on the other hand are those times, you need to just stop already because you need to apply something else, you need to learn something new.
The challenge is that a lot of people don’t know when to explore a new idea, concept, trend or opportunity, when to keep exploring then suddenly stop; to stop digging for gold to start exploiting it because you already have acres of it. And as you exploit, you keep at it till the point to not get too comfortable with exploitation. At that point you move on to exploring. If we were to draw it in a quadratic graph, that point of sudden turn just before redundancy sets in, and marginal growth becomes zero, innovation will be born through exploitation.
Life is all about Exploration and Exploitation, same as business. Stay on a delicate balance between both.
Strategy. Business StartUps and Corporate Restructuring Consulting