Member Andy Barrons Speaks: Instead of a New Team, Consider a New Division

The Challenge:

The case at hand was brought by the Managing Director of a multinational organization. He wanted to pounce on emerging opportunities in a new industry, and was mulling over how best to activate his company’s involvement.

If you were in this situation, what would you do?

If I were in your shoes, I’d develop a new division within your organization, sealed off from your core business, to tackle this emerging market.

Good on you: you’re jumping on a nascent, promising industry. Your company is lucky to have an executive with such foresight. While it may sound dull, I would however recommend you play some politics before jumping into a go-to-market strategy. In order to have a chance at dominating this industry, putting an ad-hoc task force on the job isn’t enough. The real winners will dedicate real resources. Therefore, you need to get your Board and senior management involved and personally invested. Sell them on the huge potential of getting in early and make a sizable ask for resources.

I’ve been in your shoes before. If you try to use your core resources to enter into this new market, your current major customers, who keep you afloat, might worry you are distracted from solving their pressing problems. Moreover, your leading employees may wonder why they are not involved in this new, exciting venture. Instead, cut the cord and make a new division entirely. New people, new strategy, new CRM, new software – all molded to this unique opportunity. It will take more time, but then again, the winning team is often the best prepared and best equipped. Good luck!