Ambition Magazine, April 2018 edition, pages 1, 4, 32-35.
Have you ever wondered why some organisations – whether large corporations, family businesses or not-for-profit enterprises – are more successful than others? Why is it that once-great companies like Compaq, WorldCom, Eastern Airlines, Woolworth Group, Blockbuster and Marconi no longer exist? Why is it that companies like Xerox, Blackberry, Kodak, RBS, Rolls-Royce and Sears are struggling to regain their once dominant position? And yet others, for example IBM, Apple, GE, Amazon, Microsoft, Lenovo and Netflix, go from strength to strength?
Conventional wisdom is that it must be as a result of the quality of the organisation’s leadership and the strategies they pursue. But surely there are good leaders – as well as bad – in all organisations, and there have certainly been more books and articles written on strategy than ever before. And if a leadership team is in need of external advice there are plenty of strategy consultants who would eagerly offer their ‘killer’ strategic frameworks. So, if there is no shortage of ideas on strategy, or leaders willing to apply them, why aren’t more organisations successful?
Is there something more fundamental at play that ultimately determines an organisation’s future, and if so what could this be and how could its influence be controlled in order to improve an organisation’s chance of success?