Strategic Opportunism: how to make your own luck
Gold Magazine, February 15, 2014
Andrey Dashin is the founder of ForexTime Ltd (FXTM), Chairman of the Board of Directors and shareholder of the Alpari brand. Drawing from his vast experience as a businessman, he shares he thoughts on strategic opportunism with Gold, emphasizing its importance for those who are leading a business.
“If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;”
Having a vision is the most important part of being at the head of a business and sure enough creating a solid bridge to get there is instrumental to its realization. But is it that realistic that parts of the bridge won’t fall through on the long journey to your destination? And if they do fall through, is it always necessarily a bad thing?
When setting future targets for the growth and development of your business, creating a plan is a timeless tactic and an absolute necessity. After all, it takes focus and precision to succeed. But what happens when your plan begins to inhibit your freedom to adapt to an ever-changing environment? An environment governed by trends, the issues of the current market and the actions of your competitors. You need to be able to keep your head about you, not lose sight of your target and at the same time be flexible enough to adjust your plan according to the changes the current environment dictates. This is the idea strategic opportunism is built on; long-term plans shouldn’t crumble in the face of change. Knowing what you want and how to get it is a definite sign of a strong character, but business is 50% about planning and 50% about grabbing opportunities before they slip through your fingers. Trends, new products and even obstacles can arise out of nowhere sometimes; make sure you can dodge the bullets, stay current and be at the forefront of innovation, no matter what your initial plan started off as. A marriage of long-term and short-term of objectives is the best way forward; being stuck in your ways will only thwart progress and cause you to trail behind the rest.
I think what all business owners should remember is that a wise decision today is not necessarily a wise decision tomorrow. Strategic opportunists have the ability to revise their long-term plans from time to time, question how appropriate they are for the specific time period and even experiment a little with fresh ideas. Fear of leading astray shouldn’t be an issue if you keep your eyes on the target. Confining your vision within a rigid plan will suffocate it. Without deviating entirely from the strategy you have set in motion, learn to recognize opportunity when it’s staring you in the face.
Long gone are the times when 5-year plans were fully functional in the corporate sphere. We live in a world where technology advances at the speed of light, competition around the world is fierce and unexpected developments may be of the utmost importance to the mission you are working towards. So keep your eyes wide open for signs of new developments and always be prepared to make any needed tweaks to your long-term plan.
If you can master strategic opportunism, you can become the master of your luck. There’s no such thing as leaving things to chance; your luck is what you make it to be. So be a strategist, but never forget to be an opportunist.
Note: The content in this article comprises personal opinions and ideas and should not be taken or misunderstood as investment advice.