Taking Advantage of the 'Irresistible' Forces Affecting Us
William F. Mahoney
History is replete with companies done in by forces beyond their control. History also celebrates the rare examples of executives who turned these "irresistible" forces to their great advantage.
Can executives of companies see the wave soon enough, catch and ride (read manage) it to sustained growth, rewarding themselves, employees, customers and shareholders along the way?
In their new book, The Irresistible Growth Enterprise: Breakthrough Gains from Unstoppable Change, authors Donald W. Mitchell and Carol Coles no strangers to this publication lay out a road map for managers that, if followed, will allow them to take advantage of forces beyond their control. Put out by Stylus Publishing, LLC, it is available at bookstores for $27.50.
Authors of the popular The 2,000 Percent Solution, Mitchell and Coles show how CEOs can benefit from flexibility when they confront irresistible forces and provide a set of principles for shaping vision, strategy, tactics, management process and organizational structure. The book identifies external factors and obsolete ways of thinking. For example, "companies that strategize only to optimize the forces when they are positive, will face grave difficulties when the forces shift directions," says Mitchell.
A lack of understanding can lead to "inappropriate action or no action," the authors suggest in their book. In separate chapters, they describe a wide range of stalls commonly faced by companies.
Overcoming Stalls and Taking Actions
These include a lack of direction; wishful thinking that favorable conditions will return; a sense of helplessness about actions to take; a defensive reaction and denial of the seriousness of the forces; relying only on the company's resources to handle the situation; covering up problems and "throwing in the towel"; being too independent and believing they can succeed; being overly optimistic about succeeding; underestimating the impact.
Mitchell and Coles set out eight steps that will allow companies to manage these irresistible forces successfully: 1) Recognize how measurements can help your company identify and understand more about irresistible forces; 2) use your own leading indicators to anticipate shifts in irresistible forces; 3) identify the future best practices for locating, anticipating and adapting to change in irresistible forces; and 4) extend your vision to accomplish best practices beyond anyone else in the future; 5) identify the ideal best practices for benefiting from irresistible forces; 6) determine how to operate close to ideal best practices for locating, anticipating and adapting to your irresistible forces; 7) enhance your people's ability to achieve the benefits of irresistible force management; and 8) repeat steps one through seven for improved effectiveness in using the management process.
Last, the authors urge readers to "embrace the forces," encouraging managers to "seek out the irresistible forces" as a basis for early action. Survival, growth, and personal opportunity are at stake and at hand. They lay out a course of action for taking the lead inside your company and mobilizing people. A chapter personalizes the entire process for each reader.