Companies come and go. Not every startup is destined to make it. I have advised many companies during their gravy years. I tried to warn them about the things that would get them into trouble:
* Focusing upon technology…not upon running a business.
* Maintaining too much of an entrepreneur and family business mindset.
* Branding before being a real company.
* Their system’s inability to deal with any kind of disruption.
* Each side picks their favorite numbers for “success” because they really do not know.
* Not comprehending the business you’re really in.Very
* Venturing too far from your areas of expertise.
* Thinking that the rules of corporate protocol did not apply to them.
* Misplaced priorities and timelines.
* Making financial yardsticks the only barometers.
* Wrong relationships with investors…letting angels call too many shots.
* Getting bad advice from the wrong people, mainly other tech professionals.
* Rationalizing excuses, “the rules have changed.”
* Feeling entitled to success and exemptions from business realities.
* Copycats of others’ perceived successes.
* Working long and hard, but not necessarily smart.
* Failure to contextualize the product, business, marketplace and bigger picture.
* Inability to plan.
* Refusal to change.
Companies are collections of individuals who possess fatal flaws of thinking. They come from different backgrounds and are products of a pop culture that puts its priorities and glories in the wrong places…a society that worships flash-and-sizzle over substance.
Reasons why some want to grow beyond their current boundaries:
1. Prove to someone else that they can do it.
2. Strong quest for revenue and profits.
3. Corporate arrogance and ego, based upon power and influence (as well as money).
4. Sincere desire to put expertise into new arena.
5. Really have talents, resources and adaptabilities beyond what they’re known for.
6. Diversifying as part of a plan of expansion, selling off and re-growing subsidiaries.
7. The marketplace dictates change as part of the company’s global being.
Circumstances under which they expand include:
1. Advantageous location became available.
2. Someone wanted to sell out…a great deal was tough to pass up.
3. Can’t sit still…must conquer new horizons.
4. Think they can make more money, amass more power.
5. Desire to edge out a competitor or dominate another industry.
6. Create jobs for existing employees (new challenges, new opportunities).
7. Part of their growth strategy to go public, offering stock as a diversified company.
This is what often happens as a result of unplanned growth:
1. The original business gets shoved to the back burner.
2. The new business thrust gets proportionately more than its share of attention.
3. Capitalization is stretched beyond limits, and operations advance in a cash-poor mode.
4. Morale wavers and becomes uneven, per operating unit and division.
5. Attempts to bring consistency and uniformity drive further wedges into the operation.
6. Something has to give: people, financial resources, competitive edge, company vision.
7. The company expands and subsequently contracts without strategic planning.
To those successful companies, I ask you to continue reflecting:
1. What would you like for you and your organization to become?
2. How important is it to build an organization well, rather than constantly spend time in managing conflict?
3. Who are the customers?
4. Do successful corporations operate without a strategy-vision?
5. Do you and your organization presently have a strategy-vision?
6. Are businesses really looking for creative ideas? Why?
7. If no change occurs, is the research and self-reflection worth anything?
Failure to prepare for the future spells certain death for businesses and industries in which they function. The same analogies apply to personal lives, careers and Body of Work. Greater business awareness and heightened self-awareness are compatible and part of a holistic journey of growth.
Contact information for Hank Moore. Website: http://www.hankmoore.com.
Email: [email protected] Phone: 346-777-1818.
Hank Moore has advised 5,000+ client organizations, including 100 of the Fortune 500, public sector agencies, small businesses and non-profit organizations.