Another giant falls today in the UK. Maplin, one of the UK’s biggest electronics retailers, announced that it has collapsed into administration after talks with buyers failed to secure a sale. And Maplin is just another one this week. Business Distress is happening all around us, to companies of all sizes, across all industries. So, it suffices to say that there is no business, or industry, agnostic to the risk of business failure – regardless of how strong your brand is, how long you’ve been trading, or how many customers you have.
We recently published this blog where we discussed some of the most common leadership habits that often lead to business distress. We also included some examples of where poor culture or bad decision-making had led to impending failure. For some, they successfully turned the business around. For others, like ToysRUs, well, they face a completely different, and uncertain future.
However, there’s one habit which is potentially more destructive than a lack of innovation, over-complication and more.
And that is ignorance.
Ignorance, traditionally, is defined by simply not having the right knowledge, or information, but has evolved to adopt a slightly more sinister negativity where that lack of knowledge or action becomes an intentional discarding of the truth, the real deal, the actual facts.
In a study done by Sidney Yoshida in 1989 – called “The iceberg of ignorance” – it was found that senior level management is often so far removed from day-to-day business operations that they fail to understand the systems and processes that affect both employees and customers. The most alarming result of this study suggests that this can have an impact on company profits by as much as 40%. Fast forward to almost 30 years later, and scarily, the Iceberg of Ignorance doesn’t appear to have melted at all, as depicted in this 2015 ThinkPoints Transformation Survey.
So, whatever your leadership style – whether you lead by example, lead by following, or lead by staying out of the way, it’s become a matter of survival to ask yourself these questions:
- Do I feel confident about the growth plan for my organisation?
- Do I know where I am headed?
- Is innovation the root of all decisions made in my business?
- Am I confident that I read and understand the signs that my market is giving to me?
- Do I have the right team in place to implement and execute an agile, innovative future?
If you need expert help to prevent your business from heading into the same direction as ToysRUs, Maplin, Pearson, Rolls Royce, Jamie’s Italian, 99p stores, Brantano, BHS, Beales and so many more, then it’s time to get in touch with us and turn your business from despair, into profit.