15 Nov, 2011
The 3 Main Reasons Why Successful Companies Fail by Bev James
There is a popular saying that: “Success has many parents – but failure is an orphan”. I have found that to be true.
When a business is successful there is a tendency for people to congratulate themselves for the individual part they played. Many people will think, “I achieved target because I did x or y”. They put it down to what they did right as an individual – but don’t look too closely. If something fails on the other hand, the same people are likely to become “hands off”.
Quite often they will blame external forces and will analyse what went wrong in some detail. It is no longer about the individual. This too can be useful – because we do learn from failure – but it is also important to adjust the attitude to success, so we recognise what is working and what is relevant for the future – rather than just breezing on regardless.
There are 3 main reasons why successful companies fail:
1. They focus only on existing customers, instead of anticipating future trends.
2. Short-term goals take priority over long-term strategy.
3. There is a resistance to change and a lack of adaptability.
When something is working well, we can almost be terrified to change it. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” tends to be the common attitude. It can be all too easy to decide to leave something alone, because it worked before. But than can be the downfall of a successful company, because it doesn’t see or adapt to forthcoming change.
Just because something is working well, doesn’t mean that it couldn’t work even better. Changes can be tested on a small scale and introduced incrementally. Once small improvements have been made it becomes possible to make changes on a larger scale, more confidently.
Analysing your success is all about steering business development from the front. It means maintaining an awareness of your performance, doing regular SWOT analyses – so you understand where you stand in the market place. Know what your competitors are doing, who your customers are and what they want. Stay up to date with technology and with your commercial thinking. Make sure you know what you have done well so that you notice when your performance is altering. Always think: “What did I learn from that?”
If you do what you need to do to stay ahead of the pack – you won’t get left behind.
Bev is CEO of The Academy Group which includes The Entrepreneurs’ Business Academy (EBA) & EBA for Coaches which are both joint ventures with James Caan. Her book “Do It! or Ditch It” has already been listed as a bestselling business title and she is ready to pass on her success to your organisation.
Connect with Bev on Google+