Time to go

Big businesses fail for slightly more weird reasons than artistic movements run out of steam, great nations crumble or religions fade. Marshall Loeb has a handy review of Jim Collins’s How the Mighty Fail that outlines the lessons we can learn at the graves of Rubbermaid and A&P. As in all business books, the lessons seem to be that every tactic works and no tactic will ever work. “The undisciplined pursuit of more,” “denial of risk and peril” and “capitulation to irrelevance or death” do seem like worth avoiding. But I’m not sure that they really nail Rubbermaid’s mistake:

Rubbermaid , the housewares products company … aimed to introduce more than one new product every day — and proved only that a company can grow too fast. “As Rubbermaid realized too late, innovation can fuel growth, but frenetic innovation — growth that erodes consistent tactical excellence — can just as easily send a company cascading through the stages of decline.” Newell Co. acquired Rubbermaid in 1999.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s