Why You Should Confront Your Weaknesses NOW

Successful companies often have a big problem

…when things are going fairly well, it is very difficult for them to confront vulnerabilities and to blow whistle on a weak part of the organization.

Firstly, because the parts of the organization that are running well camouflage the parts that are consistently turning out mediocre results.

Secondly, because the overall success of the company reduces the urgency to change things that are not working.

Robert J. Herbold, the former COO of Microsoft, has expressed a great idea about how to avoid falling into this trap:

Treat every component of your business as if you were totally dependent on it to be successful.

For example, in the early 2000’s the online marketplace eBay was extremely successful, but despite the success the company decided to confront one of its key vulnerabilities: the fact that a lot of Internet users were afraid of typing in their charge card details online.

eBay confronted this vulnerability by acquiring PayPal, an international e-commerce business allowing payments and money transfers to be made securely through the Internet.

It would have been very easy for eBay to sit back in the comfort of what was already one of the most successful businesses on the Internet, but the company understood that to sustain success it is crucial to confront vulnerabilities and to treat every component of your business as if you were totally dependent on it to be successful.

Posted on 14th Jan 2014 by Rasmus Ankersen

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