Why Successful Companies Fail: Forewarned is Forearmed

Why Successful Companies Fail: Forewarned is Forearmed

The data is clear: businesses are disappearing faster than ever. Do they fail because of stubbornness, incompetence, taking unnecessary risks or the emergence of black swans? Some do. But most fail simply because their success contains the seeds of their extinction. Complacent or dogmatic adherence to the formula that brought market dominance in the past almost guarantees they’ll perish in an increasingly volatile, uncertain and complex business environment. Relying on tried-and-true practices and a mode of thinking that got them to where they are now won’t help them evade the slippery downward slope … it’ll only accelerate the fall.

Almost 90% of companies, including the very best, go into a growth stall. This has been the norm for more than 50 years. The trick is not to make it a death spiral. A landmark study of international business juggernauts confirms that, unless senior management is able to diagnose the root causes of regression and get the company back on track quickly, the odds of ever returning to healthy top-line revenue growth are rare to non-existent. The most common causes of decline are preventable. The assumption that corporate entropy is due to big, external forces is false. The vast majority of reasons are knowable and addressable, albeit ignored amidst the elixir of success. And the most significant one is a history of preeminence combined with a cycle of denial and rationalization that keeps the enterprise from failing to separate the signals from the noise and continuing to place the wrong strategic bets.

In today’s hyper-competitive world, driven by the exponential advance of technology, traditional strategic paradigms become leg irons, prior breakthrough practices harden into counter-productive routines, and core values that once differentiated your organization no longer motivate younger knowledge workers. Rather, they crystalize into inflexible policies and an apathetic, unengaged workforce. While innovation has always been at the heart of business success, it’s rarely been at the top of the management agenda. It gets rediscovered and discussed when things are going south and cost-cutting is the name of the game, but new strategic paradigm shifts and organizational redesigns are too often followed by the same-old mediocre, unenthusiastic execution that produces anemic results.

Although counter-intuitive, the time to reinvent your business model and action a cultural transformation isn’t when things are going downhill … it’s when you’re at the top. Not recognizing that the fundamentals are changing borders on leadership inertia, if not negligence. With the right tools in place and a different mindset about the forces of creative destruction, corporate regression is not inevitable. The solution lies in recognizing, then acting on, some uncomfortable though often unacknowledged truths. This one-off webinar, designed by a former business owner, CEO performance coach and strategic advisor of over fifty years standing, outlines the nature and scope of the problem and tells you what you need to know and do in order to ensure your current success doesn’t kill the golden goose. As he says, timely and artful diagnosis precedes remedy.

**  Includes a Pre-course Workbook of tasks and readings.