The Greatest Danger of Success

It’s inertia – it’s the belief that it will continue forever, or at least a long time.  Success makes one feel cocky and self-important.  And it makes an organization feel overly confident and self-congratulatory.  The danger of success is that when change creeps up – and it will – the denials begin.  Like when Blackberry regarded the iPhone as a toy, or when Detroit kept sending team after team to Japan to find out what Toyota was doing and time after time dismissed what they learned.  When you’re in denial, it’s impossible to make changes because you’re clinging to the past.  The best time to think strategically is in the midst of success—before the next growth plateau and well before the denials.  That’s the time to question and debate where you’re heading, and what the underlying currents are – the stuff that projections of past data and ‘check-the-box’ approaches to strategic planning do not touch.

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