THE 4 PRINCIPLES OF ENDURING SUCCESS.
By: Stadler, Christian,
Harvard Business Review,
July/August 2007, Vol. 85, Issue 7/8
The project yielded four main findings, which we call the four principles of enduring success:
Exploit before you explore. Throughout their history, the great companies in our sample have all emphasized exploiting existing assets and capabilities over exploring for new ones.
Diversify your business portfolio. Good companies tend to stick to their knitting, but the great companies know when to diversify. They are careful also to maintain a wide range of suppliers and a broad base of customers.
Remember your mistakes. Great companies tell and retell stories of past failures to make sure they don't repeat them.
Be conservative about change. Great companies very seldom make radical changes -- and take great care in their planning and implementation.
Christian Stadler (Christian.Stadler@uibk.ac.at) is an assistant professor at the Innsbruck University School of Management in Austria. He is the author of the forthcoming book Enduring Success: What We Can Learn from the History of Outstanding European Corporations, from which this article was adapted.