The thing that set’s Peter F. Drucker’s legacy apart from all the pop management books is one thing: Empiricism. Peter concentrated on observable, reproducible, systematic methodology. And he took the same attitude in Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
The secret to successful innovation and entrepreneurship for a private enterprise, a public enterprise or a fledgling enterprise involved pre-planning before any attempt to realize the idea took place. The success stories in Peter’s book took an idea that was not even necessarily their own and took the time to foresee the requirements for possibility, compatibility, reliability, affordability, distributability and ubiquity before they entered the life cycle of the product or service. They built a management team to achieve each of these milestones before they entered the life cycle as well. Only then did they execute, because there was no turning back.
It is just like a volley in tennis. The ball (opportunity) approaches and the tennis player observes that ball, positions herself, assesses her capabilities, decides where the return will land and only then makes her power curve lead into the ball, singularity contact, and power curve follow through, all the time never letting her eye off the ball until that volley’s life cycle ends.
Like I said to Seth Godin’s book, The Dip, you don’t make your decisions mid-stroke. It is not empirical and it is bad physics. Peter would say the same thing. He would say it is bad management as well.