Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Seduced by Success

The winter weather has been beautiful. Reminds me of my youth.

I have been busy. Lots of book summaries to post but not enough time to write them.

One book I read recently is "Seduced by Success" by Robert Herbold. I love the central theme of the book - Successful companies and people need to be careful of constantly learning and re-inventing themselves in order to stay competitive. Past glory can work against future success especially if you let it go to your head. "Success is a huge business vulnerability".

One thing I do not like about many self help books is they start with the assumption that you are a loser. I like this one that assumes you are a success so need to deal with that handicap.

The book plays to the expression "If you do what you always have done, you get what you always have got" which I modify to "If you do what you have always done, you will go bankrupt".

The book talks about the 9 traps of Success. There is a good review on Amazon by Robert Morrison here so i will not type all 9 traps.

One of the traps (#4) is Complexity. As business become successful and grow, often they add complexity and bureaucracy. I have always felt one of the goals of a big company is to act small. Or put in this context - be simple.

It ties with Trap #5 Bloat and rationalizing loss of agility.

The book is well organized and easy/fast to read. Highly recommended for the successful.

Of course the proper response to all of the traps is constant learning and evaluation combined with the humility to recognize that past success can take our edge off.


At 8:13 PM, Blogger Steve C. said...

After reading your comment about complexity, thought you would enjoy an article in the December HBR. It is entitled, Simplicity-Minded Management by Ron Ashkenas. Not sure if their approaches are similar, but my guess is their outcomes are.

Keep up the good work.
co-author - There is No Box

At 6:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My dad used to say that "Life is the art of new and better mistakes." It's a pretty good rule.


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