As you read this, I will (hopefully!) be recovering from an operation to remove a rather large kidney stone.


The stone has built up over the years and even though the warning signs were there – I occasionally suffered from pain, particularly when I was dehydrated – both my GP and I failed to fully investigate the issue and really get to the root cause.


If I’d properly identified the issue earlier, I could possibly have pursued a simpler, less invasive solution. As things stand, however, surgery is the only answer.


Many companies, particularly successful ones, decline because they fail to listen out for, spot or heed the early warning signs. Nokia lost its 50% market share in the global smartphone market in less than 10 years, for instance, because its leaders failed to understand the warning signs posed by the launch of the iPhone and the rise of low-cost Chinese manufacturers.


And where Nokia have been, so have other massively successful companies such as Kodak, Blockbuster, Avon and Xerox. All these giants failed to change their winning model, in the light of new competitors and market realities and suffered the consequences. Like me, they failed to spot, understand and respond to the warning signs.


What are the warning signs in your markets? And how well set up are you to spot these signs and adapt your strategy and business model so that you can continue to succeed and thrive, rather than ending up in more difficult surgery?



Off The Record: Like A Rolling Stone by Bob Dylan


How does it feel
To be on your own
With no direction home
A complete unknown
Just like a rolling stone?


© Stuart Cross 2019. All rights reserved.