Shoes? Anatomy? No-no, just a little effort to capture the essence of the interesting article I happen to read recently. In brief, one of the memorable examples of so called Achilles Heel, would be a Polaroid camera. At some stage it was notably popular and financially successful for the company, however the inability to compete with photography going digital placed Polaroid on the poorly lit back stage.

The fatal weakness might take place in absolutely any functional area, or even aspect of the business. For instance, the fall of the Webvan, in U.S. the company collapsed due to over-expansion and “unjustified” expenditure. As Kent German pointed out “A core lesson from the dot-com boom is that even if you have a good idea, it’s best not to grow too fast too soon”.

And that leads us to the article. Don Sull summarised few truly relevant myths:

Myth 1: The downturn caused our problems.
Myth 2: Companies fail quickly.
Myth 3: No one saw it coming.
Myth 4: Things will return to normal after the downturn.
Myth 5: It couldn’t happen to us.

To aid the battle with the “representative” myths it may be useful to check on your quality assurance and decision support system and procedures (which sounds interesting enough to be my next article) or even establish one if there is none present.

In conclusion, well, there is no conclusion. I have a plane to catch and this article is on my to do list, so I am cheating! What I do want to say is, stay smart and sensible, listen and listen to the right people and finally take action. Happy holidays everyone - may your clementines be plenty and Christmas tree needles half as painful!

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