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When Established Superiority Isn't everything !!



When Established Superiority Isn't everything !!

Posted By Muhammad Umer Toor, 21-Nov-2008.

Always keep in mind what first paragraph of page # 199, 227 (exhibit 8-7) of Management book [1] states, whenever you're in the business. Even when your organization is touching skies or, worst, in a downturn, and if you cease to bring innovation, cease to find new directions and so on and so fourth - this is a worst pitfall. Becoming best is one thing, and trudging along a constant line is not a safe strategy. Because, whenever you find that everything is going smooth, actually something is going wrong there. This happens mainly with those companies whose tasks demand optimum performance; when everything around them is changing without any notices. What I learnt from Stanely Hainsworth, 'former creative genius behind campaigns for Lego, Nike and Starbacks' [2], is that eternal reconstruction is the price of success for any brand. Editor at Entrepreneur magazine calls it as 'Survival of Fittest' [3]!

The basic idea behind finding new directions or cracking innovation, a necessity of established companies and else, is well explained by Hainsworth, and in his own words:


"Many [companies] wait until a crisis hits and then go through the cycle of
ahiring freeze, cost-cutting and
layoffs. [Refocus] while you're strong, while have the resources and before you
start cutting."[4]
This happens (-unexpected shocks-) mainly becuase of 'market-shifts', customer choices change (like our favorite ice-cream example!), and of course, due to dynamic enviornment, generally. [5] Doing something ahead of hard times isn't at all a weak idea. It's an expert view as well as well-researched thesis. (To quote you one more example). According to a research done [6] on the four common causes of growth stall, two majors reasons given for growth stalls confirm Hainsworth point of view.


One big reason, according to HBR [7], is that 'innocvation management breaks'. Second, because 'company lacks a strong talent bench'. [8]
Once, I asked a senior student of criminal psychology, "What is the remedy for a criminal-minded person?" And, his reply, which I found quite witty, was, "You shouldn't be criminal in the first place." 'That's the best strategy', he whispered to me without even whispering! And, business studies are no exceptions!

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Notes:

[1] Page 199 (Chapter # 7), Ist paragraph states the successful plans are not likely to work in changed situations. Whereas page 227 (exhibit 8-7) (Chapter # 8) urges the need for creating strategic flexibility, i.e, it consists of: monitoring and measuring results; gaining fresh perspectives and ideas outside organizations; sharing negative information and learning from the mistakes; while making strategic decisions, having multiple alternatives. (From: Management, 9th Ed., by S. P. Robbins& M. Coulter.)

[2] Quote from Entrepreneur, November 2008, article, INSGHIT "Survival of the Fittest,' by Lindsay Holloway.

[3] Quote from Entrepreneur, November 2008, article, INSGHIT "Survival of the Fittest,' by Lindsay Holloway, Pg. # 33.

[4] Quote from Entrepreneur, November 2008, article, INSGHIT "Survival of the Fittest,' by Lindsay Holloway, Pg. # 33.

[5] Quote from Entrepreneur, November 2008, article, INSGHIT "Survival of the Fittest,' by Lindsay Holloway, Pg. # 33.

[6] When Growth Stalls, by Mathhew S. Olson, Derek van Bever, and Seth Verry, HBR (Harvard Business Review), OnPoint, Fall 2008, Article Published Originally March 2008.

[7] Excerpt from HBR (Harvard Business Review), OnPoint, Fall 2008, When Growth Stalls, from Idea in Brief coulmn, Pg. # 33, Article Published Originally March 2008.

[8] It is further explained in the article, (OnPoint, Fall 2008, When Growth Stalls, from Idea in Brief coulmn, Pg. # 33, Article Published Originally March 2008) as:

"The firm has few executives and staff with strategy-execution capabilities."

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