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Rethink: A Business Manifesto for Cutting Costs and Boosting Innovation by Ric Merrifield

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SIXFourth—Understand What Can (and Can’t) Be Predicted

“I don’t try to describe thefuture. I try to prevent it.”

–Ray Bradbury

IN THE COURSE OF RETHINKING, you have learned how to identify your “whats,” determine their value and performance level, and figure out their connections to one another. The next step is to train the lens of predictability on your stakeholders—customers, suppliers, and partners—to anticipate their responses to the plug-and-play changes you want to make.

One of the more dramatic—and potentially traumatic—examples of “what” unpredictability occurred some years ago, when Chrysler decided to examine the vendors supplying parts for its Jeep Cherokee. The analysis of the company’s Manufacture-Product “what” started with ...

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