Preventing businesses from stalling and crashing

Note: This posting is based on my weekly “Thank God It’s Monday” that helps you and your company thrive!

This week’s focus: preventing businesses from stalling and crashing

Like Kodak, Polaroid, Blockbuster, Sears, Pan Am and many others, Blackberry has finally made the list of corporations that consumers will be able to live without. This PC World headline says it all: New 5-inch Blackberry Z30 Carries Same Old Stench of Death

What does failure look like? At first, it happens slowly and then gains greater and greater speed. Watching these legacy companies fail is like watching a car crash in slow-motion. Quarterly reports reveal the struggle.

For the aforementioned companies, their demise was forseeable. What are the ingredients of their demise?

  • Executives and their boards are in denial and non-responsive to the obvious realities their companies face
  • The leadership teams believe“we’re too big to fail”
  • Being too wedded to the status quo
  • Missing or sitting out market transitions
  • Too much incrementalism in products and services
  • An internal focus rather than a customer focus
  • Blind spots with respect to what the competition is doing
  • Defending markets rather than driving innovation to stay fresh and vibrant in ways that truly matter to customers
  • Taking customers for granted
  • Delivering half-baked new products and services in spite of the fact competitors have already set a much higher bar
  • Assuming customers don’t mind paying premiums for their products and services in spite of the fact there is no obvious difference in value

There are companies we see everyday who face an uncertain future: HP, Dell and Yahoo are top of mind. Marissa Mayer seems to be leading a healthy charge at Yahoo. I have great confidence in Michael Dell and the reinvention he is leading. HP has yet to find a solid footing.

Has your company lost its luster? What actions are you taking today to ensure you thrive?

Thought for the week:

“Strength doesn’t come from what you can do. It comes from overcoming the things you couldn’t.” – Rikki Rogers

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What do you think? I welcome your comments!

Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting

© 2013 Gardner & Associates Consulting  All Rights Reserved

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