Why did Blockbuster, Nokia, Kodak and now Toys R Us ‘disappear’?
Think about the top 5 or 10 problems you have in your organisation (or organisations you consult to) that are controllable by you (or them). If it’s raining outside, that’s not the problem. You don’t control the rain. If you don’t have an umbrella to stay dry when it rains, that’s the real problem.
Think about problems in those terms. And if the word “problems” doesn’t float your boat, you could also interchange it for the word “challenges” if that suits better.
In your list of problems or challenges, which one is the BIGGEST? Underline it.
In your total list, what percentage of these did you/they have last year?
Our experience is somewhere between 70-80% of a mature business’s problems or challenges have been hanging around for a while, often a year or more.
Now, how many of these problems can be solved by you alone, or someone else, without getting other people’s input and agreement? Not many. We find that problems that are solely in one person’s control, get solved pretty quickly.
The majority of problems that hang around longer than they should are those that need more than one person to come together to agree on what the problem actually is, agree on the solution, and prioritise the resources to actually solve the problem.
YOUR NUMBER ONE PROBLEM MIGHT NOT BE WHAT YOU THINK
So, if you could wave a magic wand and have everyone agree on what the problem actually is, what the solution is, and prioritise the resources to solve the problem, would you have less problems?
So, your number one problem is not the problem you underlined earlier.
Your number one problem is actually your organisation’s inability to work together to identify and solve its own problems or challenges. If this problem was solved, you would have less long-term problems on your list.
Companies that last over the long term can work together to identify and address problems swiftly. This means groups of people (not individuals alone) are able to work together to agree on what the problem is, the solution and prioritise the activities.
Over time, companies lose this ability as a natural part of the aging process. Different conflicts start to emerge making identifying and resolving problems difficult. Conflicts of perception, conflicts of personal styles, conflicts of interests and conflicts of values just to name a few.
What happened to Blockbuster, Nokia, Kodak, Toys R Us, and many other companies that were once successful, and then mostly disappeared? Billions of dollars of value lost, hundreds of thousands of staff cut and bankruptcy in most cases.
They lost the ability to identify and address problems. They could not work togetherto address the problems created by the world changing around them.
If you read the backstory on why these once dominant organisations in specific markets then disappeared from those markets, you see a combination of conflicts leading to an inability to identify and address problems.
From personal experience, I know this all too well. Despite a number of past successes, I once purchased a $45mil company that had to be placed into liquidation two years later. That company had well and truly lost the ability to identify and address problems swiftly. The work I do today leverages off such experiences; both successes and failures.
SO WHAT DO WE DO?
Was it necessary for these once great companies to end up in their respective situations? Was the destruction of value, jobs and customer loyalty necessary for them to transform into the companies they are today (a fraction of what they once were)?
How do you get your organisation working together to solve its own problems so these scenarios don’t occur?
Well, you have to start at where problems really come from and what stops you from dealing with them. Once you know the cause, you can start to resolve the underlying problem. The case studies of Blockbuster, Kodak, and Nokia’s mobile phone division point to common ingredients. By understanding these ingredients, you can set a path to not make the same mistakes.
I have never met anyone that wants to keep problems unresolved over the long term. However, without knowing exactly where problems originate, how to identify the root cause, and have a step by step roadmap to resolve all problems, resolution doesn’t occur. Then, ultimately, change doesn’t occur and the list just grows and grows.
This webinar will give you practical tips on where problems come from, how to identify them and how to resolve them swiftly. I’ll provide a “path to peak performance” with a practical approach that you can actually implement swiftly.