May 24, 2008

It Worked Yesterday

I’m working with a group that has worked very hard for a lot of years to build a highly respected company. It’s a group that knows that reputation and past successes are only a reference point. They are constantly searching for ways to improve, find new customers and new opportunities, while taking care of their existing client base.

The most dangerous strategy any company, venture or individual can adopt is to stand still. If you stop, you will have about five seconds to brace yourself for oncoming traffic.

Someone will take you out.

If you own a company or brand that has hit the tipping point, I congratulate you wholeheartedly. Building something from scratch is a process that is filled with surprises, challenges, victories and snags.

Years ago in a meeting, a colleague was staring out a window. I asked what was wrong. They looked at me and said, “They blinked”. We were working to become a better US, not a second-rate THEM. In the process, we caused THEM to climb down their hill and try to attack ours.

They were built on sand, we were built on concrete. But above our foundation was a veracious desire to improve today what we had built yesterday. The old adage still rings true – it’s harder to stay #1 then it is to get there.

If you want an easy example; look to the music and television industries. In the search for the next big thing many hope they copy the right competitor and win in the process.

Obviously that is an oversimplification. But if that is your tactic, good luck with that. Let me know how it works out for ya.


© Kneale Mann people + priority = profit
leadership development business culture talent development human capital