There’s a paradox facing leaders seeking to transform their organizations as they see their markets begin to change or disruptive trends like digitalization looming.

On one hand, they need convincing data to make the case that transformation is necessary and to show that their companies are about to find themselves on “burning platforms” –when there are limited options to change. But by the time public data about trends and market shifts is convincing, the window of opportunity has shrunk, if not disappeared.

So how can leaders avoid ending up on a burning platform then? The key is to act before compelling data is widely available, a challenge that is complicated by the lack of information in periods of uncertainty.

In this new article, we introduce a simple conceptual model to help companies map out where they stand when it comes to their knowledge and their ability to act. We call it the “information-action paradox.”

To illustrate its effectiveness, we explore how King & Wood Mallesons, a global law firm, faced this exact problem several years ago, when they were picking up signals that they needed to change.

This new article in Harvard Business Review describes the approach the firm took and details specific methods other leaders can use to similarly motivate their organizations to address shifts before the evidence of them is abundantly clear.

On-Demand Webcasts


How can companies move faster than disruption? The key is to act before compelling data is widely available. Scott Anthony and Pontus Siren discuss strategies to help companies map where they stand when it comes to their knowledge and their ability to act – and make critical strategic decisions more confidently. Watch now.


In a notoriously risk-averse industry, KWM’s strategy for adapting to digital disruption holds takeaways for other companies. Hear how the company made the decision to transform despite still-weak signals, built leadership alignment, and encouraged the adoption of digital mindsets. Watch now.

About the Authors

Pontus Siren is a partner at Innosight, based in Switzerland. During his tenure, he has worked across the region and has helped clients address the challenges of innovation and new growth. He has worked extensively on innovation growth strategies and capabilities and regularly advises senior managers on these topics.

Scott D. Anthony is a senior partner at Innosight and former Managing Partner of the firm. Based in the firm’s Singapore offices since 2010, he has led Innosight’s expansion into the Asia-Pacific region. He is the author of many books and articles on innovation strategy and was recognized as the #7 most influential management thinker in 2021 by Thinkers50, a biannual ranking of global business thinkers.

Utsav Bhatt is an associate partner at Innosight. He is enthusiastic about helping clients navigate disruptive change and reinvent themselves. He has helped clients identify new growth opportunities, transform existing business models, and develop innovation capabilities.