• The 60 Second Leader
  • Seven Secrets of Inspired Leaders
  • The Little Book of Leadership
  • Leadership Hub for Corporates
  • Learning to Live with Huntington's Disease

Don’t lose your corporate memory

We focus so much on change that we can drift away from the origins that made us compelling to customers without noticing it. So, this is a reminder to check that, in the melee of change all organizations go through, you haven’t drifted away from what made customers come to you in the first place:

“The biggest threat to an organization always comes from within. It stems from complacency: losing touch with the customer and losing touch with the outside environment. It is called losing the corporate memory. When a number one brand hits the buffers, its fall from grace can be surprisingly fast. Marks & Spencer, once famed for its 15 per cent share of the women’s clothing market and for selling a third of all women’s underwear in the UK, had a spectacular slump in the late 90s shortly after delivering a record £1.2 billion in profits.

“After that the chain, one of Britain’s oldest, most solid names, stumbled from one turnaround strategy to another, really recovering only in the past few years. One thing you can be sure of now is that the architect of its recovery, chief executive Stuart Rose, is not going allow the chain to become complacent again. He refused to declare a recovery at M&S until January 2007, after months of successive growth, and is determined that his team will not lose focus, despite the admiring remarks of business commentators.”

That’s from Allan Leighton’s new book On Leadership. I’ll post more customer-related snippets here as I come across them.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *