Why do Dumb Things Happen to Smart Companies?

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Why do Dumb Things Happen to Smart Companies?

It is a great honour to present this excellent article from the widely respected executive coach, Competitive Intelligence author, and practitioner Babette Bensoussan – Why do dumb things happen to smart companies?

Why do dumb things happen to smart companies?  After 25 years of strategy consulting, I would like to suggest some of the following reasons:

  • Companies repeat mistakes
  • Work gets duplicated
  • Customer relations are strained
  • Good ideas don’t get shared
  • Competition is around price
  • Not keeping up with market leaders or innovators
  • Dependence on a few key individuals
  • Slow to innovate
  • Lack of good market knowledge 

People don’t choose for good things to go bad, just as executives don’t choose strategies that fail.

Bottom line I think, is that people aren’t finding the insights they need, and this has real business consequences.  

You may have your new year strategy already drafted, and now the focus is just on starting the new year afresh. However, doing this without first reviewing the past year could land you in some murky waters – with issues unresolved, staff dissatisfied, and without clearly understanding what may not have gone so well, and what could be done better next time. 

Achieve higher goals in 2021

So during February, schedule some time for yourself, or if you prefer as a team exercise, and use these questions to explore 2020, gain the insights necessary, and ensure you achieve higher goals in 2021:

  1. What was the most successful initiative of 2020?
  2. What was the most disappointing (honesty wins out over whitewashing)
  3. Do you feel you maximised opportunities? If not, why not?
  4. What could you change now that would have maximum impact on company performance?
  5. How could you make this change happen and continue in 2021?
  6. What will be your “theme” in 2021?
  7. What would be the ideal working environment you would like to have in 2021, and what steps are needed to make it a reality?
  8. Also, what could you do to provide the tools to help you work smarter and better next year (eg mentoring, training, coaching)?
  9. What initiatives could you implement to help your staff work better and as a stronger team?
  10. What are the three actions you can take now to start the year off on the right foot?

Why do dumb things happen to smart companies?

These questions are a catalyst for looking at both your career and your business. Taking the time to honestly (and without any blame) review what worked well, and what didn’t work, will strengthen your ability to succeed and the bonds within your team to ensure that you all start the year positively and motivated to making it a success for everyone.

Thank you Babette for offering your thoughts on why do dumb things happen to smart companies?

About MindShifts™ Group

The MindShifts™ Group is Australia’s leading Competitive Intelligence (CI) and Strategic Intelligence (SI) consulting firm and a globally recognised player in the area of Executive Coaching. Incorporated in 1992, MindShifts has continuously operated at the forefront of CI, business strategy and executive coaching practices.

Throughout our twenty-three years of operations, MindShifts has conducted successful projects with over 350 Australian and Fortune 500 companies. Our clients have included organisations and senior executives from the public and private sectors from diverse industries.

The MindShifts™ Group is highly respected locally and internationally; presenting at seminars, conferences and webinars on competitive strategy, competitive analysis, strategic planning, future trends and energy leadership.We are committed to providing clients with the highest quality services and are absolutely diligent in ensuring that all practices are carried out in a legal and ethically responsible manner.


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