The Seven Powers of Continuous Exploration in the Digital Era

Anca Onuta
4 min readMar 1, 2020

How we build precision when there is not?

The classic management rules say:

If I’m in charge, I want control.

If I have control, I need to know it all.

If I need to know it all….

Forget it! It doesn’t work like that in the new Digital World. Winning in the digital world means to explore the unknown, live with uncertainty, go outside your comfort zone. In simple words, you must try it, fail it, stand up quickly, and try it again, fail it early, learn from it, improve, never stop.

But how do you do this while your management, your investors, your bank, all of them ask for predictability?

It is called Continuous Exploration.

While you are building your current product, you must explore the next stage.

When I talk about continuous exploration to my clients and teams, the first thing I hear: We can do only one thing at a time, if we stop and start and stop, and we continuously get distracted, then we never finish anything?

Why explore?

1. The power to get excited about the future! Every time I work with a new team and I feel their resistance to change the way they do things; I remember the wonderful feeling of the breakthrough: the energy inside a team knowing where they are heading, why they do things, how things come together is priceless! There is no better trigger of performance than this.

2. The power to stop procrastinate and start finishing things. The team is aware of the impact of being late, so they will not voluntarily participate in delays.

3. The power of a committed team. A team discovering together the challenges of the future, exploring options together, engaging together builds a team commitment. A committed team will get you those outstanding products that no specification in the world can be as quick and perfect as a committed team. You need to have or to be part of a committed team to build the products that will succeed in the Digital Era.

4. The power of expanding the known path. Through exploration work, you know beforehand that what you’ll build in a month will work. The sprints deliver more certainty.

5. The power of a team running at a constant pace. For those who run marathons, you know that you might sprint to train, but running the marathon at the same pace is the key to reach the finish line. Developing, stopping to explore, then fail, then succeed, breaks the rhythm.

6. The power of calling the high pressure a sustainable workspace. We do more while being under pressure, people say. As a student, yes, maybe. But what about in the long term? Can you make a successful career and have a nice family while always being under pressure? Can we build market leader products while working only under high pressure without paying for the burndown? I trade this pressure with the energy of getting excited about the future of a committed team.

7. The power of delivering market leader products while yet exploring the feature. Exploration work can be very frustrating: you never know where you go and when you’ll get there. Imagine you combine the success of the implementation with the challenges of the exploration. It always gives reasons for the team to keep their morale high.

But we are slower!

Yes, you are. In theory. Because in practice, an enthusiastic, motivated, committed team that runs marathons at a constant pace will be more predictable.

In which team do you want to put your money as an investor?