How to avoid the ‘competency trap’
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The company having the original PC technology back in the 70s was Xerox. This was a time when their photocopiers were a worldwide hit, and even their brand name ‘Xerox’ was used as a verb. They had a research centre to develop new technologies, where they invented the PC (similar to what we see even today) and a graphical word processor. But even after inventing futuristic products, which were inspirations for what Steve Jobs and Bill Gates did for the computing industry, Xerox failed to capitalize or commercialize them.
Past success and entrenched expertise prevented the pioneers of great technology to deal with a changing, uncertain and fast-moving market. Xerox forgot to grow, evolve, stay nimble and keep an eye out for the changing market dynamics.
Successful organizations start having rigid corporate cultures, which crumble when the outside world evolves, which is always inevitable.
The rules and assumptions that companies operate on, become embedded, making the employees blinded from any potential future innovations.
... is a reluctance to give up on the past spendings and investments made on projects or products that are no longer providing any return.
The managers are usually unable to make strong decisions and keep adding costs to failed (or about to fail) projects.
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Metric fixation can make employees ignore the real values and goals of the company and focus on their short-term weekly or monthly goals so that they keep their jobs, get a pay raise or have their stock options out at the right time.
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