Friday, April 1, 2011

Lessons from Borders and Xerox - adapt or perish

Borders and Xerox are two business organizations that can teach us a valuable lesson. Borders sells books through retail stores to customers. Xerox sells machines for making copies of papers. What could these two different companies have to teach us?

It is a lesson that we can learn from nature. Charles Darwin was a scientist who realized that species (i.e. animals) were evolving over time. Species learned to adapt or risk becoming extinct. I learned much about Darwin from an exceptional movie titled Creation. This movie presents the story of how he ended up writing a book on his theory of evolution. (I am aware that there has been controversy on this book because some people believe his theory in contradiction with what was written in the Bible. That is a subject for another blog.)

Xerox successfully adapted when the business world started to reduce paper consumption and copying. Borders, on the other hand, did not successfully adapt when the world started moving more toward electronic, rather than paper books. That is why Borders recently filed for bankruptcy protection. Barnes & Noble, another bookstore retail chain, has successfully adapted thus far. For example, this organization has moved into the electronic age with its book reader and online bookstore.

Adapting is not the only condition for continued life and prosperity. To prosper, an organization must successfully implement an effective plan of strategies and tactics to become ever-flourishing. A number of organizations have utilized the Transformational Strategy and Tactic tree (from TOC) to become ever-flourishing. The key to continued life and prosperity of any organization is to not only be successfully led and managed, but also to continue to adapt to the changing environment.

No comments:

Post a Comment