A look at why Honda succeeded when entering the US motorcycle market. It’s a lesson on flexibility and having the right management team (not a single figurehead) on board:

Richard Pascale argues that, “Their success, as any Japanese automotive executive will readily agree, did not result from a bold insight by a few big brains at the top. On the contrary, success was achieved by senior managers humble enough not to take their initial strategic positions too seriously… The Japanese don’t use the term “strategy” to describe a crisp business definition or competitive master plan. They think more in terms of “strategic accommodation,” or “adaptive persistence,” underscoring their belief that corporate direction evolves from an incremental adjustment to unfolding events.”

The conclusions from the successes of Honda and Grace Manufacturing are to have humility about what you don’t know about an unfamiliar market, to not over-plan and to stay adaptable to emerging information and circumstances. This doesn’t mean being wishy-washy or directionless. Your objectives must be clear, but the shape in which success takes shape within them may be quite unexpected.