Do you know your company's success blinders?


Jim Collins, in his book How The Mighty Fall fronted that every institution is vulnerable, no matter how great, the achievement and power garnered.

This statement could have been informed by the giants who ruled the markets and dominated supply chains until the grace was no longer sufficient.

What makes each company unique in the market is the same thing that makes it dangerous. History and hindsight trends show how the best in companies ended up killing the businesses – the best people who couldn’t allow the company to outgrow them, the best lines that brought a lot in revenue, the best they were in the market, and the best politically correct they were those times.

Any of this could be the single thing that led to the fall of an institution.

It calls on us to answer several strategic questions on what it takes to transact at the top and be aware of most items that could easily blind us when doing so well.

Here are some pointers.

At default, any institution is endowed with talents and various resources to realise value.

Those strategic talents are positioned in a manner and format to allow the company to obtain the most optimum output and to identify areas where they can leverage various variables to manipulate the outcome concerning changing market dynamics.

Corporate titans are like captains in the sea, forever looking out at the horizon, speeding to take advantage of the wind and at times slowing down to allow the storms to pass.

What to do requires proper understanding and precision. Here the captain is playing and leveraging the experience guided by tools that read into the weather patterns and behaviours at sea.

It will be a misnomer for us to think of an institution in a different way than the captain in the sea, for it is never that someone never saw the disruptions going on, it’s just that the eyes were fixed on the day-to-day running, the oiling of the ship, the cleaning of the windows and perhaps a story of the sea, taking the ship in a constant speed and failing to understand the terrain and in reaction to the macro environment beyond the state of the ship.

I can still detour and add that it could be the best-performing lines that blinded us for so long, it could be the best in us that we thought we will realise value out of for an extended time, and this made everyone in the company keep their eyes on that line.

In essence, the chicken that appears to lay golden eggs never on the dashboard pointing to a change in consumer behaviour, never on a dashboard that showed employee disengagement nor even on an indicator showing that we have to check the engine, not on pausing to feel the culture at the workplace.

But some companies have talented people who were expected to transition the company to another level. The leading dream killer is a leader that will eventually fail to convert knowledge, experience, and competencies occurring to the company to value.

Most of the time we could be having people in different corners of the company who can see the dashboard and pick trends.

Instead, we have leaders who rarely listen and are caught up in the day-to-day running of production.

Leaders should step on higher ground, separate from the exigencies of production for reflection to sample the macro environment and perhaps paint a clear picture of success looking into the future.

That way most companies will shoulder the ability to change course in time to react to an engagement or disengagement.

Strategic positioning is an advantage and the ability to draw the business path into the future guarantees stay in the market, every firm should define its vulnerabilities and all employees should be in the loop on what can kill the company.

Nicholas Kibet Siele – HR thought Leader, Group Human Resource Manager – [email protected]