How can you deal with a world that’s not very predictable? Let me give you an example.
The toy business is full of hits and misses. Even worse, one year’s top toy usually fades into the background in the next year.
Witness then the wonder of Barbie’s durability, having been a top toy and head of a top line of related dolls and merchandise for many years. Although all toy makers would like to create long-term toys, only a few have succeeded in overcoming the irresistible force of the changing tastes of children to create an on-going success such as Barbie and her doll friends.
You can learn how to overcome the behavior in your organization that keeps you from creating the kind of continuing irresistible growth and success that Mattel enjoyed with Barbie. Irresistible forces are unstoppable events and factors that shape our opportunities and challenges.
In the physical dimension, these include things we cannot change like the tides, winds, and powerful storms. In a human sense, they include the emotional patterns that almost all of us follow, such as feeling sad at the loss of a loved one or elated by winning.
In the organizational dimension, irresistible forces include difficulties in communicating in a foreign language, lack of knowledge among new employees about how your organization does things, and conflicts of interest among those who are looking out for themselves ahead of customers’ needs.
In businesses, irresistible forces include trends in the development of technology, globalization, shifts in buying power of consumers in local markets, and increasingly more demanding customers. Interestingly, each enterprise is subject to the irresistible forces in different ways. No one breakthrough solution will suffice for all, as a result.
Irresistible forces can be started by us in some cases such as when we encourage a new fad, but we usually have little impact on them after they begin. Irresistible forces are so powerful and so important to use as resources for success, that you must avoid either opposing or being buffeted by these forces.
Bad thinking habits, or stalls, of individuals in organizational settings are the primary reason that enterprises fall victim to irresistible forces, rather than turning them into powerful allies and tools for faster, more profitable growth.
The dangers from and opportunities provided by irresistible forces are growing and will probably continue to do so in the future. Evidence of this pattern is the rapidly decreasing amount of time it takes for a start-up organization to reach a billion dollars in revenues (as measured in constant buying power). Once this task required decades (without acquisitions). Now companies can accomplish this enviable result in months by making good use a rapidly growing means of communication, the Internet. Within a few decades, the same will be accomplished in days, or even possibly in hours.
Therefore, overcoming irresistible force stalls is one of the most important management skills needed for ascertaining the opportunities and responding positively to them now and in the future in a timely way. Even an organization that starts out in perfect alignment with irresistible forces will need to be agile in adapting to changes in those forces and the arrival of new forces over time. You will gain by learning how to identify the most common and dangerous stalls vis-à-vis irresistible forces. You also can benefit form developing skill in quickly eliminating these stalls by changing your thinking habits through the use of new questions, so that you and your enterprise can not only survive, but enjoy irresistible growth.
You will probably find that overcoming stalled thinking (harmful thinking habits) about irresistible forces will be easiest to understand and apply if you focus first on one important area where irresistible forces are proving to be head winds (retarding your growth) or crosswinds (pushing you off target from where you want to go) for your organization.
Then you can apply these ideas with a second irresistible force issue in mind. And then you should continue on from there in working on other issues until this way of dealing with irresistible forces becomes a new habit for you.
Copyright 2008 Donald W. Mitchell, All Rights Reserved