If you are an executive exploring whether or not optimization will help your company raise its level of competitive play, I don’t advise running out to sign up for a crash course in advanced mathematics. There’s no need for you to become a quant, but it would help to think a bit like one. Begin by asking a few optimization questions, such as:
- What are my company’s underutilized assets? For example, for a newspaper, it might be ad space; for a pharmaceutical company it might be the “face time” that sales reps spend with doctors; for an agricultural company, arable land or available seeds might be the undervalued asset; for a railroad, train capacity might qualify. Which of your assets, if tapped for optimal value, have the potential to take your organization to a significant new level?