In 2009, Europe (and in parts the World) was in an economic crisis - crises in the economic landscape comes and goes and we (then CoCoCo, now Quartz+Co) wanted to understand what separated the companies who managed to stay strong during the crisis from the ones that did not

Click on the image to read the excerpt from the study

Click on the image to read the excerpt from the study

I did a quite elaborate study in the Fall of 2009, aiming to define the characteristics of the winning companies, labeled "The Anatomy of Tomorrow's Winners"

Looking back at the results of this study makes me realize how little the world - or the basic criteria for good management - actually do change, despite of an ever-so-fast changing business landscape and environment

The key findings were - of course - that winning companies focused on market development, customers, active use of information gathered from the markets and a realistic view on the future backed by strong and honest management

What was more interesting was to find that all agreed on this, but only 23 % of the companies actively used all this information to become successful - why?

Same reason as (almost) always, when companies fail to succeed; EXECUTION

It is my experience that a majority of corporations are stuck in the mud of politics, habits, old structures, outdated processed and a lack of focus on what's really important going forward

There's no 'one-size-fits-all' to solve this, but I believe seeing, and acknowledging, that there is a challenge is an important first step - instituting a willingness to change, however, is very difficult and requires more than just the acceptance of 'something' must be done

What has to be done to drive the company to a successful change, according to the findings of this study, are four things:

  • Establish a strong understanding of the markets and their developments
  • Be close to the markets, really close; talk to the customers, partners and suppliers
  • Make sure that your organization is capable and willing to follow and implement changes - this is the hardest one...
    ...which requires that...
  • ...the management takes control and leads the way, i.e. are the first to demonstrate change and willingness to change

Frederik Bisbjerg, September 2015