We Are Highly Successful Already; Why Should We Plan?

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Success is strong evidence that a company has had a sound and appropriate strategy. Notice the past tense. There is absolutely no guarantee that yesterday’s sound and appropriate strategy will continue to be successful in the future. Indeed, there is great danger in assuming so without adequate study. There are many examples of once successful companies that failed because they stuck with a once successful strategy that had become inappropriate. For example, consider the fall of one of the most successful companies of the early Twentieth Century, Baldwin Lima Hamilton, the great locomotive builder. This company simply did not have the requisite capabilities for the diesel-electric locomotive industry. Moreover, its core competencies were superfluous for this industry and might have been highly valuable elsewhere.

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