Thursday, August 9, 2012

Fix It Before It Breaks

The notion that excellence once achieved can only be maintained through constant innovation brings us to the second of the two certainties in business and life—change is constant. The old saying "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." is dead wrong because things are always in the state of breaking.  Nothing is exempt. Everything, a chair, a desk, the technology you depend on, the materials you use, the availability of labor and capital, competitive conditions, government controls, customer preferences are all in a state of flux.  Everything and every condition, whole industries, even human life, have a life cycle. Things come into existence.  They mature and prosper.  They wane and begin a decline.  And ultimately they are replaced.

Successful businesses succeed by building one life cycle on top of another.
As one turns down, the successful organization shifts its emphasis to a new life cycle—one beginning its upswing. The successful company must always be asking “what is next?”  It must be engaged in strategic planning and intelligence gathering to plan its future—preparing to adjust and evolve—“fixing it before it breaks” by moving across from one life cycle to another.

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