Thursday, March 15, 2012

Managing Strategic Risk

by Jared Wade on December 1, 2011 
There are many ways a company’s long-term strategy can fail.
The problem may be execution. Or perhaps continually shifting the plan aka moving the goal posts (*cough* … Hewlett-Packard). Another common downfall is expanding too fast (*cough* … Toyota). Sometimes companies fall victim to their own success, deluding themselves into believing they can thrive in areas in which they aren’t suited to succeed (*cough* … Bank of America buying Countrywide) or emerging areas they simply don’t understand (*cough* … AIG insuring mortgage-backed securities). Or companies can fail via the inverse: resting on their laurels and failing to change as the world around the does (*cough* … Blockbuster).
In short, there are eight millions ways to die.
There may only be one, however, that predestines a company to fail: starting with a flawed plan. Or, to play on the cliché: failing to plan may be planning to fail — but planning poorly might be just as bad.
To that end, Forbes has compiled a “top ten ways strategic plans fail.” Head over there for the full list but these are the five I consider to be the most insightful lessons

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