National Connections, Local Ownership
National Connections, Local Ownership

Success Can Actually Be a Problem for Today’s Businesses

Every business strives for success but resting on its laurels can spell real trouble in today’s fast-moving business environment.

First, let me make clear that success is fine and something each company should evaluate and strive for. It’s what you do once you achieve success that makes a difference. In a recent IdeaXchange blog, Jane Clark, Vice President of Member Services for NationaLease discusses how this subject was covered at the 2017 AmeriQuest Symposium in Orlando, Florida.

Jane cites one of the featured speakers at the event, Jeremy Gutsche, chief trend hunter at trend spotting website,, who noted that time has been foreshortened for businesses when it comes to staying ahead of competitors. As he says, “It used to be that the average life of a Fortune 500 company was 75 years. Now it’s 15.” With technology and innovation occurring so rapidly, your competition can be at your doorstep and nipping at your heels so much faster than in the past.

According to Gutsche, the three big behavioral traps companies fall into when it comes to success are:

  1. Success makes us complacent
  2. Success makes us repetitive
  3. Success makes us protective

By remaining insular, companies don’t necessarily see what’s lying in wait for them. Just consider Blockbuster video, a company that rested on its success in DVD rentals and refused to recognize the potential of video streaming that was waiting in the wings. Blockbuster is gone but Netflix (once a DVD mail order rental company) is alive and very, very well.

Gutsche noted that in today’s business atmosphere there’s no substitute for hard work, coupled with the need to keep your business relevant as well as profitable. The key to achieving those goals can be found in unexpected places within your company so make innovation a big part of company culture. And keep your eyes open to discover what new services and products customers might be looking for that aren’t being addressed elsewhere.

Here are four steps he indicates are necessary to achieve success and keep success going:

  1. Work hard.
  2. Foster innovation at all levels of the organization
  3. Look for clues as to what people really want.
  4. Act quickly once you think your idea has merit.


For more details, read Jane’s full blog.

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