The history of business has many examples of successful companies that have lost their market leadership position and become an insignificant player in that sector. 50 years back the pace at which these things happened was slow and gradual but with the rapidly changing times we are living in, it makes it a scary scenario for many international businesses. Many organizations who have enjoyed a successful past are getting challenged by more vibrant younger companies. In some cases it’s not other organizations that are challenging these power houses, but it’s their business models that are no longer relevant. Many of these organizations have had their own blind spots that have ultimately led to their decline. The important point to note is that on careful analysis you will discover that these failures are more related to people rather than to any technology or business limitation. Here are some signs of impending problem.
A) The Org has become arrogant: Success is a double edged sword, though good to have it also brings in the threat of complacency and feeling of false superiority. Humans make organizations and human tendency is to get complacent and bask in past victories. Many a times few stellar men make the first break through for the company and then ordinary folks just keep it going. The feeling that no one can touch us or be as good as us is possibly the first signs of an impending fall. The moment your company’s internal jingle becomes ‘No one does it better than us’, I suggest you run.
B) Innovation seldom happens: Innovation is not a onetime thing; it needs to be done day after day and year after year by constantly asking the question ‘can we do this better?’ And when no more innovation is possible, then it’s the time create something new and make a paradigm shift in the way you do business.
C) Org carries un-productive human baggage: I have nothing against experience or getting old cause I am getting there as well, but when I mean human baggage I am talking about 2 categories of people a) people who keep to their old mindsets and refuse to change and b) people who are sticking on for a free ride. When organizations become successful, it sometimes becomes easy for some people to hide in one of the corners of an org structure with minimal input to the org and almost no output.
D) Org looses touch with their customer’s reality: Many times org’s are so busy doing the same things that they fail to notice that their customer needs or wants are rapidly and dramatically changing.
E) Creativity is not encouraged: Last but not the least, innovation and creativity is never driven by dispassionate and level headed people. It’s the passionate and eccentric people who read change before it even begins; these individuals should be encouraged to innovate and play an active role in shaping the future of the organization.