The purpose of this paper is to discuss how many successful businesses become trapped by the history of success with their existing business models and find it very difficult to acknowledge new threats to their businesses. The article includes examples from the automotive, aerospace and hospitality industries of companies that have had to deal with this challenge, with varying degrees of success. The author draws lessons from these examples and provides four prescriptions to help business leaders avoid becoming trapped by their past successes.
In this article, Jackson leverages insights from example companies that have had to deal with major changes in the needs of their customers. Drawing insights from these examples and the various approaches companies take to dealing with change, the author makes recommendations for how companies should plan for alternative future scenarios.
Key finding is that the more successful a company is, the more difficult it will be to change its business model. To avoid being trapped by their own success, business executives and strategists must actively identify, assess and plan for alternative future scenarios. They must develop powerful, convincing arguments for when and why change will happen, leveraging external perspectives and evidence. Only then, can they hope to get top management to embrace change, maintain leadership and preserve shareholder value.
The key message of this article is that adapting to changes in the market environment is very difficult to do, especially for businesses that are highly successful. The author provides a range of specific recommendations to help companies embrace change, identify new untapped opportunities and unlock new value for customers and shareholders.
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