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The danger of being too successful

Many companies are already feeling the impact of the digital revolution that the whole world is going through. Just look at the retail and financial sectors. These are good examples because right now they’re catching up in digital. And they’re catching up because they’re feeling the heat from the digital players. Once you feel that heat, you have no other choice than to transform your business.

I think most of the financial and retail players will be OK. They’ll figure out a way to adapt to the new situation. Some won’t make it, but a lot of them will. They feel the pressure and they’re making moves.

The biggest danger is if your company isn’t feeling the heat. If you’re enjoying great financial results and you have the feeling that the whole disruption trend is true for everyone else except for you, why should you worry?  Your financials are still good . . .

Change is a strange thing

The truth is that change is a strange thing. Changes in the market develop slowly. But then when they happen, they do so really fast. Think about smartphones. Nokia invented them in the early 2000’s. And they failed. Because of that, many people thought that society didn’t need smartphones. For non-believers, the failure of the first smartphones was evidence that it would never work. Then the iPhone came along. And BAM, the world changed overnight.     

If you are too successful, you may have the feeling that nothing can go wrong. There’s nothing more dangerous than that feeling.

The truth is: if you’re successful, it’s great. It means you have the means to invest, to change, to adapt. If you’re willing to start the transformation while you’re successful, it’s the perfect moment to do so. Google is probably the best example of a company that is really successful with search, but which has been re-inventing itself for years.

The paradox of success

It’s the paradox of success: success can make you a bit blind, but if it doesn’t, and if you’re open to change while being successful, you are ideally placed to initiate the transformation.