Over the past several years I have observed something when looking at the most and least effective companies in the USA, and each grouping has something in common that needs to be discussed. This is far from the only thing they have in common, but this has been critical in landing them where they are now.
Why Companies Fail
Let’s look at a recent casualty in the business world, Toys R Us. In what once was the leading toy company in the world, a strange and disappointing pattern emerged, which led them down their path to bankruptcy. What was this pattern? It was the shunning of all new trends, and the inability to move successfully with the emerging technology. You see, technology scares, some, but in long term successful companies, you see them lead the change that they are uncomfortable with by hiring someone who can do it for them. Toys R Us refused to move with the eCommerce trend. They failed to move appropriately with the mobile trend. As a result, they failed as a company when these two items produced powerhouses like Amazon and Walmart.
Why Companies Succeed
We could look at Apple or Amazon, but those industry Goliaths are not what we want to hone in one today. Instead, let’s look at a lesser known company that is exploding in their growth, and on the verge of their own Goliath like stature. Dropbox, which isn’t a NEW company per se, has been doing all the right things for some time now. They have changed with the trends. They have been on the cutting edge of cloud technology since it was a hard to understand concept for, well…almost anyone who wasn’t an IT professional. They are now putting lots of capital into their global enterprise sales and channel partnerships, which is going to set them up to be even bigger as more and more companies move all of their data 100% to the cloud.
So why is it that many companies succeed, and many fail? What one strand binds them all together? It is either the lack of willingness, or the presence of willingness to adapt successfully to change. You either move with change, or you end up as a case study about what a company “should have done”.