Active Waiting As Business Strategy: Learning From The Serengeti Plains


Business Strategy
Active Waiting
Second-Mover Advantage

How to Cite

Active Waiting As Business Strategy: Learning From The Serengeti Plains. (2015). Journal of Business Strategies, 32(1), 21-40.


Fast decision making, a propensity for action, and getting things done appear
to be highly valued by both practitioners and academics in the United States. Under
such monikers as exhibiting initiative, being proactive, walking the talk, and taking
charge, getting things done is widely lauded and promoted. As a result, most managers
are content to deal with day-to-day operational activities that require immediate
attention, daily routines, and superficial behaviors rather than addressing important
issues requiring reflection, systematic planning, creative thinking—and above all—
time. To address this often unproductive busyness the authors propose active waiting
which involves the recognition that not all problems are open to a quick fix and
that sometimes waiting can be a valuable option. However, waiting does not have
to be passive. The authors recommend that managers act like the skilled, veteran
lions of the Serengeti plains and adopt active waiting in order to be able to seize the
opportune moment in pursuit of effective business strategy. This paper offers a six-step
process to help leaders integrate active waiting into their supervision style and
concludes with recommendations for managers.


This article is distributed using a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 license. Copyright remains with the author(s).