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Many Facets of Leadership, The by Albert A. Vicere, Marshall Goldsmith, Beverly Kaye, Vijay Govindarajan

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Chapter 2. Organizational Renewal: Overcoming Mental Blind Spots

Paul J. H. Schoemaker, Ph.D.

Let's make a bet. Write down the ten largest industrial U.S. companies in 1910 (in terms of assets) and see if you can get at least three right. Most people fail this test miserably. (Answers are listed in Table 2.1 in order of total assets.) Companies come and go when viewed in historical terms. Their temporary success, and the arrogance that it breeds, set them up for failure. At first, success actually increases a firm's survival chances, lasting for about 30 to 50 years or so, according to the organization ecologists. Then, the survival curve flattens out, and the tendency to fail in the face of long-term change appears to become the rule rather ...

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