Monday, August 04, 2008

Risking failure

Interesting blog from one that I receive daily called


Business Failure Commandments

Posted: 01 Aug 2008 09:27 AM CDT


What you just read is a money quote from Donald Keough’s recently published, THE TEN COMMANDMENTS FOR BUSINESS FAILURE. For years Keough, a former long-time Coca-Cola executive, has been flipping the script by giving presentations on How to Fail in Business. Keough rightly reasons, by learning why companies fail, we can learn what NOT TO DO in order to achieve business success. Now these fail-trap lessons on business failure are available for us to read and learn from.

Keough, like his good friend Warren Buffet, is a smart businessman who doesn’t try to overcomplicate business theory and uses plain everyday language to share smart advice. Thus, THE TEN COMMANDMENTS FOR BUSINESS FAILURE appeals to big business execs, small business owners, and aspiring entrepreneurs.

I was hooked early on when reading the first commandment leading to business failure: QUIT TAKING RISKS. Keough writes...

“Over time, many, many successful companies have failed to take important risks at critical points, and they have paid a price. Some have merely stumbled and found later redemption, but quite a few have not only fallen but disappeared. In the 1980s alone, 230 companies disappeared from the FORTUNE 500. In fact, only 16 of the 100 largest companies that were around in the early 1900s are still with us.”

To support this commandment, Keough gives us a history lesson by retelling classic failure stories from Xerox and Coca-Cola as well as mixing in new lessons in failure such as this one about Apple

“In business, you can make a good argument for mistakes like Steve Job’s Lisa or Power MacCube because the highly creative Apple environment that spawned them also produced big winners like iPod and iPhone.”

“As Peter Drucker pointed out nearly fifty years agao, it is management’s major task to prudently risk a company’s present assets in order to ensure its future existence. In fact, if a company never has a failure, I submit that their management is probably not discontented enough to justify their salaries.”

Go ahead, chew on that last line cause its worth thinking about … “… if a company never has a failure, I submit that their management is probably not discontented enough to justify their salaries.”

MD: Interesting comments when we correlate them back to the church! And remember, in my eyes failure is not risking / not trying. We will always succeed when we step out of our comfort zone, maybe not to the degree we hoped for, but that success or lack of success can lead to greater successes . . . only because we risked in the first place.

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