A new book by Chris Zook and James Allen – entitled “Repeatability” suggests 3 key factors for companies seeking to be successful in a world of increasing complexity.
- They have a highly distinctive core business
- They make great efforts to keep their business model as simple as possible
- They apply it relentlessly to new opportunities
ð hence simplify and repeat…?
However simplicity may not be enough – great companies still have some form of disruptive innovation built into their DNA – either ingrown or inbound.
So whilst well-defined core competencies are a must, they should not be developed in a manner that limits rejuvenation. It’s not easy to find that perfect balance between the ‘simplifying and repeating’ element and the ‘not inhibiting rejuvenation’ element.
Its what Jim Collins and Mort Hansen talk to this in their book “Great by Choice” – offering 3 key elements that companies that were great by choice had in common -
- Fanatic Discipline – consistency of values, action, method, long term goals and performance over time.
- Empirical Creativity – relying upon direct observation, conducting practical experiments and engaging directly with evidence rather that relying upon opinion whim conventional wisdom, authority or untested ideas
- Productive Paranoia – hypersensitive to changing conditions and are continually preparing ahead of time, building reserved, maintaining irrationally lard margins of safety bounding their risk and honing their discipline in good times and bad, enabling them to handle disruptions from a position of strength and flexibility
So be very clear on your distinctive / core competence, but ensure is builds both strategic rejuvenation and operating excellence.