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Les McKeown's Predictable Success Blog

  • May 5, 2016
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Beware of the Gravitational Pull of Your Industry 

By Dave McKeown, President of Predictable Success
Gravitational Pull of Your IndustryYour industry has a much larger impact on your business than you even realize.
Just as every organization passes through specific, clearly defined phases of growth, so do industries as a whole. This means that like your business, your industry is somewhere on the Predictable Success Lifecycle.
And unless you’re trying to launch a brand new industry – say trying to sell ice to penguins – then the sum parts of your industry will be greater than your whole. As a result it will exert a large gravitational pull on your business, like a black hole, trying to suck everything into its abyss.
If, for example you’re a small, growing business in the healthcare industry (Treadmill), your business will be rapidly pulled toward Whitewater as a result of the compliance required to keep people alive – and rightly so. Similarly, if you start a new airline, you’ll be pulled up the lifecycle as a result of the airline industry’s pull (The Big Rut).
What does this mean for you?
Simply put – if you’re an organization in Early Struggle or Fun operating in a Treadmill or Big Rut industry, you better know and be prepared that Whitewater is going to hit you much faster than it would otherwise. To tackle it you’ve got to (very quickly) scale up the quality of your management team and their ability to make high-quality team-based decisions.
If you’re an organization in Predictable Success, working in a Treadmill or Big Rut industry, the systems and processes required from that industry will have a huge pull toward Treadmill. You’ve got to keep the creativity and innovation alive in your organization, to avoid the decline. The best way to do that? Re-engineer your hiring process to make sure you’re hiring for innovation and creativity rather than plug and play. It’s the only way to keep the pool fresh and ensure bureaucracy and process won’t become pervasive.

Get the Gravitational Game Plan Your Business Needs with This New Workshop!



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  1. I have been struggling for few months and gather together heads to help me to the next stage which is to R/D on a software. All except 1-2 workers stopped and did not take part in the risk when we got funds to continue. So basically we are stopped and I am holding the risk factor. What can my company Suss ehf in Iceland do in this situations to keep on going?

    1. Hi Hrafnkell, R&D can pose a challenge because it requires both the Visionary style to innovate and come up with new ideas and the Processor style to vet out those ideas and evaluate whether they are worth the risk. It sounds like your team may be too Processor-heavy, as they are risk-averse and not willing to move forward due to the uncertainty. Here’s an article on achieving the team balance your organization needs for scalability: http://bit.ly/1XFb8m0. ~ Sarah, Community Manager, Predictable Success

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