Recognize Common Mental Stalls - No More Tilting at Windmills

There are just a few stalls (bad thinking habits) that are almost always responsible for causing inappropriate reactions to irresistible forces.
The greatest stall is to be unsure of your enterprise's purpose and direction when facing irresistible force headwinds.
The effect of the irresistible force can leave everyone confused because the organization finds itself constantly shifting in new directions with remarkably different choices and opportunities.
This circumstance is like being knocked off your feet by a large wave while wading and finding yourself lost underwater, wondering which way is up.
The everyday business version of this occurs when a business performs so poorly due to irresistible forces that its leadership is constantly being changed.
Each new management team has a different idea of what needs to be done, and less and less idea of what works for this type of business.
Confusion reigns amid continuing frantic activity.
Others will experience the stall of trying to discount the irresistible force, preferring to believe in a friendly future that matches their preferences for the organization's environment.
That is what most paper companies do, despite having suffered from poor profitability for decades.
Still others will simply feel overwhelmed and immobile by acting as though are stuck on the spot by Super Glue.
Many retailers reacted this way to the first inroads from Internet-based competitors.
Some organizations will react by withdrawing and turning within.
This response can take the form of simply trying to limit the harm of the irresistible force rather than turning it into a benefit.
Department stores have often done this when confronted with specialty retailers who provide more variety at a better price.
Or the organization will choose to try to adapt solely with its own people and knowledge, something that will provide less flexibility than using a variety of resources.
IBM initially fell behind in developing the first personal computer, until it overcame this stall.
Other organizations can become entranced by the plans they are pursuing: That fixation will render them inflexible to the actual business or organizational environment.
General Motors' tremendous loss of market share in the 1990s was influenced in part by this stall.
One of the most negative of responses is to try to pretend that nothing adverse is happening and to cover up for any damage that occurs so that no one knows the damage has occurred.
Many of the larger Japanese companies took this route during the 1990s, delaying their eventual adjustment to a changed competitive environment for their island nation.
This understandable response leaves the organization at risk for greater damage and can even destroy the enterprise.
Even if the enterprise decides to adapt to irresistible forces in positive ways, these forces are very powerful and can shift rapidly.
Riding the trend may be as difficult as staying on a bucking Brahma bull.
You have to adjust your organization's approach to irresistible forces by considering their strength and volatility compared to your peoples' ability to work with such forces.
Faced with initially irresistible forces in both retailing and financial services, Sears probably made the right decision by trimming down to focus its attention on retailing issues.
Those have kept the company more than occupied for the last several years.
That refocus, however, proved inadequate, and K-mart became the new owner.
Copyright 2008 Donald W.
Mitchell, All Rights Reserved
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