Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Business Prevention And Its Seven Deadly Sins

Proscrastination, Lethargy, Arrogance, Superstition, Myopia, Antipathy, Stupidity

By David Miranda

Before someone buys something, they first have to want it. That's what marketing does. It's supposed to create and sustain preference to "sell stuff". Sounds reasonable, right?

More often than not, however, marketing success is thwarted by the "business prevention department".

What is this "business prevention department"?

It does not appear on an official org chart, but it exists in almost every business, large and small. It is comprised of people in various positions within the company that do their part, either knowingly or unknowingly, in stifling or smothering potential business opportunities by being guilty of one or more of the seven deadly sins of business prevention. The irony is, however, is that these "business prevention specialists" honestly think they are doing their small part in contributing to the success of the enterprise. They are, of course, delusional.

The seven deadly sins of business prevention are as follows:

First, procrastination.
This refers to business preventionists who put off to tomorrow, things that needed to be done yesterday. These necessary, but belated actions eventually taken tend to be too little too late with opportunities lost as "competitive barbarians at the gate" threaten existing and future business.

Second, lethargy.
Great plans sluggishly executed causes frustration and eventual attrition of clients, customers, and key talent.

Third, arrogance.
Arrogance is the offspring of the marriage of ego and power. It assumes that business preventionists believe that they have all the right answers leaving no room for collaboration and dialogue with competing views.

Fourth, superstition.
This refers to the notion that there is a direct cause and effect between certain historical behavior and the resulting consequences as in the ridiculous example " whenever I wear a blue suit on a client pitch, I get the business." or "we've always done it this way".

Fifth, myopia.
Myopia is short-sightedness. It is the "Mr. Magoo Syndrome" where business preventionists lack "strategic corrective lenses" to see the bigger picture - the one beyond today and tomorrow. Those competitors with 20/20 strategic vision have a better view of marketplace.

Sixth, antipathy
By definition, antipathy is a feeling of intense dislike. This is the case when business preventionists have an aversion to those people and ideas who are change agents. Their antipathy causes animosity both internally and externally and stifles innovation.

Seventh, stupidity.
As a wise sage once noted "ignorance means you don't know; stupidity means you'll never know". Ignorant people can learn, stupid ones cannot. When an enterprise has "stupid" people in key positions, it is a terminal condition requiring amputation to save the patient.

Business prevention thrives in an environment where one or more of theses deadly sins are practiced.

You can, however, exorcise these business prevention demons before it its too late.