How to Have a Great Company

In an article called “Let Go of What Made Your Company Great”, Vijay Govindarajan gave suggestions based on his research of successful past companies.

The first term I learned was exploiting and exploring business. This is a very hard decision that is made by the company, and there are several reasons for this. First, there would be a huge shift in the further business systems, structures, processes, and cultures, after the manager or leaders decided to do that. “It’s hard for managers, especially those who excel in the current system, to explore new unchartered terrain. And even harder for them to notice that many entrenched mindsets have lost relevance in changing circumstances that require exploring for new businesses”. This suggest that leaders forget the old ways before moving on to new ones. To be honest, I have little experience in this area.  In my senior year of high school, I had to decide whether to stay in China, or learn English and study abroad. I have to say that it is an extremely difficult process to learn and use a brand new language well.

The solution for letting go depends on what challenges the firm has that shape it. The example illustrated in the article said, “When the Willow Creek Association saw its once-popular nondenominational conferences and training decline in attendance and revenues, the organization made the difficult and painful but necessary decision to eliminate two-thirds of its 150-person workforce in order to rid itself of obsolete knowledge to prepare the organization for new sources of growth”.

There were 2 types of small challenges that the author mentioned. The first was “a smaller challenge for only part of the organization”. The solution for this challenge is the simplest one, and the leader can decide what to do with this challenge. They can choose to solve locally to change the behaviors, systems, or processes that are no longer as relevant to where the company is going in the future. They just have to make sure this won’t grow into a bigger problem in the future.

“A smaller challenge for the entire organization” is the second type of small challenge. A technique for challenge is to practice portfolio reconfiguration.

From this article, I have learned how hard it can be for a leader to give up old ways. I also learned two different types of challenges that can occur and ways to solve those.

I am hoping to prevent these types of changes. Because the article mentioned that, in the past, those companies who did exploit and explore new areas went through a very hard time. But I think in the end, there were companies who made it and were successful in different business areas. On the other hand, many companies declared bankruptcy because of this process. I am considering ways to prevent this from happening. And after happening, I am considering how to solve the problems.


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