Mature Organisations: Too big to fail?

I deal with ‘Mature and old’ organisations as well as new organizations. Here are some observations regarding some of the so called ‘successful’ mature organisations:

Most of them need some rejuvenation if they have to still remain alive. They largely rest on their laurels.  Some of them have terribly performing subsidiaries which have no claim to fame – other than that of their parentage.

This reminds me of a Rolls Royce story. One man bought a RR and drove it for some time. After running for 75 miles, it just stopped. His co-passenger suggested that they look into the bonnet to see what had gone wrong. The owner of RR was upset. However when the opened the bonnet – he was shocked to find the ENGINE missing! They had forgotten to put it there. His friend smiled and said – see it has run well for 75 miles JUST ON REPUTATION!

Similarly many companies are running just on past reputation – and the current situation is not an issue at all! Let us see why this happens and what can be done:

a. Mature organisations think ‘this is the best that can happen to them’ – this is because their Chairman is running the company and the executives (including all the senior management) are just hanging out there!

b. They believe the best ideas come from the top – and their top changes once in 12 years! So new ideas do not have an entry visa.

c. They treat the vendors, employees, other stakeholders exactly how they treated them 30 years ago! They do not see the change in the society outside! Many of their stakeholders are in a position to laugh at the guy across the table. The vendor is no longer dependant on this company – but the executive continues to think otherwise!

d. The best part of the organisation is its inability to see clearly in the new environment – the past success blurs it!

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One Response to “Mature Organisations: Too big to fail?”

  1. mansoor panjwani on October 12th, 2009 at 9:37 pm

    Dear subra
    Why do psu’s does not fail in India,they possess the same behavioural pattern which u have mentioned.
    BSNL:Their team have the same attitude and services which used to be there around ten years back,are they not aware that the subscribers now have the better options in form of airtel,vodafone,tata etc.
    FEW PSU BANKS:Though there is improvement in their services and attitudes, but still their are certain banks who still lives in
    More is less to talk about HP/BP domestic gas connections and their gas stations.
    I am eagerly awaiting for their failure, will it happen?
    I am sceptical.
    Your view please
    PS:Thanks for moderating my previous comments, u have thought me the art of “not to be rhetoric”.

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