The Time When a Company is at the Greatest Risk is when it’s Enjoying Success
My company, Violand Management Associates, typically signs new clients when their business has stalled or is regressing. Rarely do they sign with us when their company is experiencing sustained profitable growth. Yet that is the time when companies are typically at the greatest risk. When the wheels have fallen off the wagon and the phone calls are coming from bill collectors instead of customers, owners have a heighten sense of urgency and often are more motivated to correct the issues. But when things are good, the owner can get distracted by shiny new objects or become complacent in his or her success, feeling it will last forever. It becomes easy to look the other way when little mistakes happen and employees start pushing the line of acceptable work behavior because the financial statements look good and give a false sense of security. As Jim Collins writes, the enemy of great is good. Little by little the culture of excellence slips away and the company’s growth begins to retreat. When things are good, it is important to remember why you are in business and where you are going (your mission and vision statements) and continue to pursue the highest levels of quality and service. Don’t let yesterday’s successes threaten tomorrow’s triumphs.
Do you have any stories about companies where you worked that lost focus and regressed to failure?