“Back to the Future: Seven Timeless Lessons for Organizational Success” by Dr. Chris Bart, FCA

LESSON 2. Don’t Get Distracted

Though similar to the first lesson, this one requires special attention, since distractions do arise that can throw the company off its game plan.  While it is vital to respond and adapt to change, too often management uses unforeseen events to abandon the original plan rather than work around them. Sometimes it’s simply that managers become lazy. Rather than looking for ways to defeat the competition into oblivion through innovation and superior execution, they look for something new to do. They start diversifying, they look for acquisitions. But as Robert Campeau (an excellent real estate developer, but a poor retail merchant), Donald Trump (another excellent real estate developer, but a poor airline, hotel, and casino owner) and Conrad Black (an excellent newspaper publisher, but a poor food merchant and farm equipment manager) learned through bitter experiences, sometimes what an organization is doing is all it can ever do, and it isn’t all that bad, either. Stay the course and double up efforts.

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