Exploit vs. Explore  

Okay, fine. We’re late, we said we’d commit to one post per week, and then a whole bunch of things intruded and what fell off? That’s right. Contributing a post. Sorry about that …

What were you up to that prevented you from writing a thrilling and compelling blog post, I hear you murmur? I chaired, and presented, at iPharma 2014 in NYC

And what did you present, I hear you dribble?

Well, funny you should mention that - it’s the subject of this post. I spent some time describing the natural tension that exists, at both the individual and organizational levels - regarding how we work. I explored this (pun intended) as a dichotomy: Exploit vs. Explore. Slides can be found here in this snazzy embed, with 10 sexy talking points following below.

What does this all have to Lunch Roulette? Well, I’d have thought that was obvious – Lunch Roulette is a web-based process, that enables the exploration dimension in a really simple way. Good for you as a professional, good for your organization. Interested in learning more? Drop us a line.

Thanks for listening,


Redressing the Baseline: Exploit vs. Explore from David Thompson

10 Sexy Talking Points

  1. I took a systems view, so really the talk had nothing to do specifically with the pharmaceutical industry, but everything to do with how we work
  2. I limited myself to knowledge work - so no poking at small volcanoes with sticks … (think about it, and then check slide 2)
  3. I considered knowledge work as consisting of the following: Mediated interactions, decisions, process, action, results and – one hopes – value creation.
  4. Doing those things, executing those actions that constitute knowledge work, would result in the delivery of a business’ promise to its customers in the form of a service or product.
  5. While the primary role of any organization is to fulfill its promise to the customer through existing products and services, to retain a competitive advantage most organizations are also engaged in the active creation of new ones. We call this act of creation ‘innovation’ and use it to represent not just the emergence of an idea (i.e. something never before imagined in the context of the organization) but also its realization.
  6. Innovation is not the province of a special department or team – if innovation is the search for the future products and services of an organization, on some level all employees are incentivized to innovate.
  7. Work can also be thought of as the navigation of a problem landscape, with two primary modes of traversal - exploration and exploitation
  8. There is a natural imbalance between these modes - with individuals and organizations favouring the exploitation mode. Individuals face all of the challenges that are described in both the behavioural economics and social physics literature.
  9. Organizations face similar issues, and could borrow from the field of behavioural economics when it comes to organizational design - does the organizational chart really cut it anymore? Perhaps organizational structures need to be designed with a view to include the irrational foibles of people?
  10. Size remains a key factor in fostering organizational complexity
  11. This is the bonus Easter Egg for the random Souls who’ve made it this far … I’d heartily recommend Extra Yarn. More on that in a coming post.

Now read this

Exploit vs. Explore … Alpha

Just as an aside, before I start, please revisit the title and re-say it in your head this way. Cheers. A couple of weeks ago, through this blog, I’d shared my talking points that supported a recent presentation I’d given on Exploitation... Continue →