If we learnt anything from the Global Economic melt down it is this….most of the accepted business fundamentals that people have written about, talked about and even preached about are wrong, do not work and need to change.
There are at least five core business fundamentals that do not work, probably have never worked and will never work.
The problem is this.
Who writes most business books, business articles, business blogs and business text books?
People who are either working as consultants with large businesses or business school academics.
And what type of businesses make up around 90% of the world’s economy?
Small and medium businesses.
So people who do not know about or understand small and medium business are telling 90% of us how to do what we do. And when it fails they blame the economy or the environment or world trade barriers or corporate leadership…instead of accepting some responsibility and admitting “we were wrong”.
Think about it. People who work with less than 10% of the world’s business’ (and even then are working with them for only a short period of time), are writing the corporate gospels that the rest of the business world have openly and blindly accepted. Is it just me or is this total insanity?
Result…it failed and we failed. We listened to the economic theorists and the business gurus. We bought their books. We went to their workshops. We did their courses. And we failed.
It might work for Ford. It could work for Apple. It should work for IBM.
But show me one small or medium sized business, who adopted a succession planning strategy, developed a future leader to take over the business on a given due date, had the incumbent step aside gracefully and then saw the business lift in performance and profits? Guess what…there isn’t any! Succession planning does not work.
Here are another four business fundamentals – core business truths – that turn out not to be quite so true.
Leadership training – what is the fundamental quality of great leaders? Uniqueness. So what’s the point of running training courses to teach something that you don’t want your leaders to learn – i.e. a standard, one size fits all way of leading.
Succession planning– as above – it does not, has not and will not work. The main reason is human nature. Succession planning means that the next person – the successor – must be by definition more successful, more talented and more brilliant than the incumbent. And who in all honesty wants that to happen? Ego rules the economy.
Strategic planning – Everyone who crashed in the Global Economic Crisis had a strategic plan. They had a budget management plan. They had a business growth plan. Did it save them? Did it give them immunity to failing and falling? The old “failing to plan is planning to fail” is rubbish. It was the lack of ability to read the warning signs, to react dynamically and a failure to adapt quickly to them that cost so many people their businesses, their fortunes and their lives. But…at least they all stuck to their plan!
The Mission statement – what a waste of time, money and energy the old “mission statement” is. Take the company on a retreat, run a workshop where people come up with some obscure, irrelevant sentence about the company, stick it up on a wall somewhere and “presto” – everything changes, everyone performs to their potential, profits rain down from the sky like rain…….anyone else see this for the BS it is?
The Telemarketing / mass marketing plan – is there anything more annoying, more obnoxious or more irritating that receiving a call or brochure offering a one size fits all solution to your problems? Mass marketing is a waste of time – it is offensive – it is humiliating for the sellers and the potential buyers and it has to be stopped. People want to be listened to and engaged with not marketed at.
There is a better way: a much much much better way of doing business in the post Global Economic Crisis………..see my next post.