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Written by ZOOZ consulting and training | (972)-9-9585085 | info@zooz.co.il | www.zooz.co.il

  | Issue 51 |

Hello!

We are pleased to send you the new issue of LaZOOZ.
This monthly newsletter is sent as a free service to thousands of senior executives.
It features different sections each time, and does not include advertisements.

 

We have tried to keep it brief, knowing that your time is precious and your work is plentiful. Those who wish to learn more can find links to articles and sources of relevant information. We hope that you will find the newsletter useful. We would be glad to receive any comments and suggestions.

Pleasant reading!
Ari Manor, CEO, ZOOZ

Focus

On strategic development in practice

How to avoid the success trap?


Some companies have success written all over them. They are in a thriving industry, their revenues and profits are continuously on the rise and their growth rate has been in the double digits for years. Such companies unfortunately often fall into the “success trap”.

Here are several symptoms that companies suffering from the “success trap” exhibit:

  • Arrogance, pretentiousness
  • Exaggerated and unjustified expenses
  • Mediocre service and occasionally even disregard for customers
  • Short term planning and a lack of a focused strategy
  • Incongruence between the various departments
  • Multiple politics and internal intrigues.

So how do you defend yourself from the success trap? Here are a few recommendations:

  • Use the entire industry as a reference point: When the industry grows by 15% annually, there is no reason to be proud of 12% growth. You have done a good job only if your annual growth rate exceeds the industry average.
  • Stay humble: This starts with upper management, from what messages it sends to the other employees. If the CEO and upper management manage to keep things in proportion even in light of the success, treat customers, suppliers and employees respectfully, do not waste money on unnecessary expenses and posturing (including expensive furniture and vehicles, a separate dining room for executives, etc.), and do not rest on their laurels, even the lowest ranking employee will get the message. In fact, if you manage to continue being humble in light of your success, you will gain a lot more respect from everyone you work with.
  • Recruit a compatible staff and change the current mix if required: Humility is a matter of character, and therefore you have to recruit managers with a compatible personality. If someone does not suit your organization culture then they must go, because one bad apple can ruin the bunch.
  • Carefully prepare and implement an ambitious and focused strategic plan: Set challenging growth goals that far exceed the industry standards (as stated above). Consistently and constantly monitor progress, check that the departments understand the plan and are acting according to it in complete concordance with each other. Challenging goals and constant monitoring will force everyone to closely cooperate, and will minimize the internal politics.
  • Prepare logistically: Accelerated growth requires close long term planning. Plan the inventory, employee recruitment, adding areas and production lines, etc. for the next five years. Concurrently, verify that your main suppliers are also prepared for growth. Do not let demands surprise you.
  • Invest in innovation: If you want to grow faster than your industry, you need to constantly provide your customers with reasons to choose you each time anew. The products and services that worked so well for you today are not an assurance for tomorrow. Even very large companies are forced to reinvent themselves every few years, otherwise they become obsolete and disappear from the market.

  •  
    An example of a company that managed to escape from the success trap is the dental implant company, MIS, which operates in a global market that grows 20% annually. In 2003, MIS’s management was smart enough to understand that the accelerated growth that the company had experienced was not necessarily auspicious, and together with ZOOZ, it underwent a strategic process to prepare for the future. MIS, which was then a fairly small company, one of the top thirty dental implant manufacturers in the world, set ambitious goals for itself: to grow by 30% or more annually, meaning much faster than the global growth rate, and to become one of the top ten in its field in 2008 (within 5 years). In order to meet these goals, it was decided to focus on countries in which the dental implant market grows relatively faster, invest in R&D and innovation, and develop a well-invested brand. It was also decided to expand the management ranks in order to support the plan and the anticipated growth.

    Between 2003 and 2008, MIS worked according to the plan, and met its ambitious goals. It has grown by more than 30% in each of the years since then, launched several innovative brands, and is currently among the top ten largest companies in the world in its field. Their new and state of the art factory is currently being inaugurated. We are still assisting MIS with their innovation processes, marketing and sales, and are happy to see that even today, success has not gone to their head. They are still humble, still energetic, and are currently exploring how they can become one of the top three companies in their field worldwide. We have no doubt that they will succeed!

     
 

Futurism

Innovation ideas not yet realized

Ideas for innovation in calenders

The following ideas were developed using various thinking tools, and do not exist at present (to the best of our knowledge):

  1. A weekend calendar – for strengthening family ties, and for heavy partiers.
  2. A musical calendar that plays a tune once to twice a day, which changes according to the day / week / month.
  3. A self-expression calendar – with an empty space at the top for a monthly drawing / sketch, to be completed by the calendar’s owner.
  4. A mirror calendar – with a mirror at the top, squares and days at the bottom, and lipstick for writing...
  5. A calendar combined with a tamaguchi instead of a picture – you have to take care of it all year long...
  6. A nostalgic calendar made of cork where you can stick concert, play and movie tickets (on dates you went to see them).
  7. A calendar with memo notes in every square – you write, tear off and take with you, and a copy stays on the calendar.
  8. A calendar with prizes – you scratch each square as the day arrives and see if you have won a prize (like the lottery scratch cards).
  9. A digital calendar – with a daily photo and months that change on a large screen (maybe even synchronizes).
  10. A calendar for learning a foreign language – with the days of the week, in Spanish for example, where you can write only in Spanish.

 


Efficiency

A tip on effective management

Positive Procrastination

Some managers are slow at making decisions, always leaving things to the last minute, and even then taking their time. Not a model worth emulating, right? However, in certain cases, even a manager’s response that is too quick and hasty does not lead to desirable results.

Hasty responses happen, for example, during emotional upheavals (like when someone aggravates us and we shout at them or if we communicate with them in some other non-productive way). Even when things are calm, we sometimes tend to act rashly, simply because we are “managers”. If one of our employees makes a mistake – we correct him immediately, instead of giving him a chance to err and learn from his mistakes. And if some sort of problem arises, we immediately try to solve it instead of waiting. Surprisingly, there are problems that resolve themselves, without any intervention, if we just leave them be for a few days.

So the next time that you feel a strong urge to respond, resolve, react – stop for a moment and analyze the situation. Is it really necessary to act immediately? Will the problem get worse if it’s not dealt with at once? Are the desired response and the required solution clear? If not, wait with it for a while. It will give you some time to consider your options and arrive at better solutions. Moreover, it will free up some management time for more urgent matters, and no less important – you will slowly note that some problems pop up unexpectedly but disappear just as quickly and do not require any treatment whatsoever.  

 

  • An article about over-management appears appears here (in Hebrew).
  • Additional Management articles appear here.

Published by ZOOZ | +972-9-9585085 | info@zooz.co.il | www.zooz.co.il

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