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成功企业必须克服的五个问题

所属教程:职场人生

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2016年04月22日

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1. It’s not easy

1. 管理难度

Running a global, complex company in 2014 is one of the most difficult management and leadership challenges imaginable.After all, Coke is sold inalmost every country in the world; Wal-Martemploys2.2m people. For companies such as these,not only do you need to run your business, but you also need to think about how to completely change it at times. Few large companies are adept at pulling off both these tricks. Maybe that’s why IBM has fallen behind in cloud services and mobile, two of the most important changes in the IT world. They require different organisational structures and even different talent for success than IBM’s core businesses.

年管理一家庞杂的全球企业是管理层所能想象到的最困难的挑战。毕竟,可口可乐在全世界几乎所有国家都有业务;沃尔玛有220万雇员。对这样的企业来说,不仅需要考虑业务的开展,还要思考如何在一些时候彻底革新。几乎没有哪家大企业能够同时娴熟掌握这两种技巧。或许这就是IBM没赶上信息行业两大变化——云服务和移动——的原因。这需要不同于IBM核心业务的组织结构,甚至需要不同的人才。

Successful companies build strong culturesthat reinforce that success. Adapting to changeoften requires leaders to breakthat culture. That’s not easy.

成功的公司构建强大的企业文化,而这又帮助企业获得成功。而顺应变化常常需要领导者打破原来的企业文化。这并不容易。

2. The formula for growth is not infinite

2. 增长没有固定的公式

There are clear pathways to growing a business. Once you have your core product or service,your opportunities come from selling it to more customers. Eventually the quest for customers leads tonew markets. Simultaneously, companies seek to expand. Perhaps they look fornewways to leverage their main products, or they seek to offer new services.

企业增长有清晰的路径。一旦你有了核心产品或服务,把它出售给更多的消费者,你就会获得增长机会。最终,为了赢得更多的消费者,企业会进军新的市场。同时,企业还试图扩张。企业可能会寻找新的方式来利用它们的主打产品,或者它们会试图提供新的服务。

And that’s it. Growth comes from selling the same thing to new customers or selling new thingsto existing customers, orboth. What happens when a company and its leaders have pretty much played all these cards? Where else can Coca-Cola sell their products? Are there someproductcategories that Wal-Mart and Tesco have yet to uncover?

这就是全部了。增长来自于把同样的东西出售给新的顾客,或向现有的顾客出售新的东西,或者双管齐下。但是,当一家企业基本上打完了所有这些牌以后,会发生什么?可口可乐还可以卖到哪里去?还有什么产品类别是沃尔玛和乐购没有覆盖到的吗?

3. New growth opportunities usually involvemore risk

3. 新的增长机会常常伴随着更大的风险

Once a company begins to exhaust its coregrowth formula, it has got to look further afield.And that means expanding into tangentially related businesses where they may no longer have the inherent advantage.

一旦一家企业开始逐渐耗尽其核心增长模式,它就必须把目光放到其他领域。这就意味着向相关的临近业务扩展,而企业在这些领域可能并没有内在优势。

Amazon is a particularly intriguing example, because its managers are taking all sorts of new risks via expansion,even while its core business — ecommerce — is growing by leaps and bounds. It’snot impossible to make this work, but the degree of difficulty goes up exponentially when you enter a market or product category where you don’t have the upper hand. Amazon’s failure in a variety of new ventures, from smartphones, to tablets, to search is a case in point.

亚马逊是一个特别有趣的例子,因为亚马逊的管理者在其核心业务——电子商务——蒸蒸至上的同时,还在通过扩张冒各种风险。这种方式并不是不可能成功,但是当你进入了你完全无法掌控的领域或产品类别时,成功的难度就会以指数级增长。亚马逊在各种新项目上遭遇的失败——从智能手机、平板电脑,到搜索——都是很好的例子。

4. It’s much less fun tocompete when growth slows

4. 增速放缓时竞争就不那么有趣了

Growth is great, but when the naturaltrajectory of growth slows, you’ve got to compete onprice and other features. That’s much lessfun, because you’re now fighting a zero-sum game formarket share points, and it’s much lesslucrative.

增长是件好事,但是当自然增长开始放缓时,你就不得不在价格和其他方面开展竞争。这就不那么有趣了,因为你的竞争目标是市场份额,零和游戏的利润并不好。

Not only is your business strategy tougherto pull off when growth slows, but a company’saddiction to meeting and beatingmarket expectations (remember the score sheet, aka, thestock market?) createsall sorts of negative side effects. Cost cutting starts to dominate,forinstance. That’s not necessarily a bad thing … until it becomes the go-tostrategy to pushearnings per share growth. There are natural limits to cost cutting, because at some point you start to lose great talent, cut back on new initiatives and push out other priorities. For example,the disastrous Gulf oil spill in 2010 was triggered, at least in part, by BP’s maniacal attention to cost cutting.

当增长放缓时,不仅你的商业战略会难以奏效,而且当企业对达到并超过市场预期上瘾时(还记得打分表,即股票市场吗?),这会带来各种各样的副作用。比如,削减成本开始主导。这未必是件坏事……除非企业依赖这一战略以促进每股盈利的增长。从根本上讲,削减成本是有上限的,因为到了一定程度,你就会开始损失人才,减少新项目并放弃其他优先事项。比如,2010年墨西哥湾漏油事故的部分起因就是英国石油疯狂削减成本。

IBM has spent more money on stock buybacks and dividends than research and development for some time, a strategy that certainly pushes earnings per share up, but only makes it tougher to compete,and even tougher to find a new path to renewed growth.

近期,IBM用于股票回购和发放红利的资金已经超过研发资金。这一战略当然会促进每股盈利的增长,但是它也会削弱IBM的竞争力,阻碍它寻找新的增长途径。

5. No company lives forever

5. 没有长盛不衰的公司

This is the one nobody in the executive suite really wants to hear about, but it’s simply a core lesson of business history. Of the top 100 companies by revenues in 1955, for example, onlyabouta dozen still enjoy that same ranking almost 70 years later. Everything leaders do to grow a business is designed to forestall the day when that growth stops.And of course new waves ofentrepreneurial ventures rise to take up the topspots over time. After all, back in 1955 Wal-Mart and Amazon were nowhere to be found, and McDonald’s was a tiny regional player. Todaythey’re allgiants. What will we see in another few decades?

这一条没有任何管理人员希望听到,但它正是商业历史中的核心一课。以1955年收入前100的公司为例,70年以后,只有12家左右仍然保持相同的排名。企业的领导者做的每一件事都是试图阻止增长停止那一天的到来。不过,新一波创业公司在崛起的同时自然也会进入收入排行榜。毕竟,1955年时,沃尔玛和亚马逊还不存在,麦当劳只是一个微不足道的地方企业。而如今,它们都成长为商业巨头。再过几十年,我们又会见证什么变化呢?

Companies that become giants in theirindustries are not immune from these fivefundamental forces. At some pointthey become so big that the classic pathways to growthbecome constricted, andthe inevitable rise of new companies start to take their toll. At somepoint,all successful companies become too big to succeed.

即使成为行业巨头,这些企业也无法摆脱这五种基本力量。在某个时候,它们的规模如此之大,以至于传统的增长模式受到限制,而另一方面,新兴企业的增长又必然会重创大企业。到某个时候,所有成就显赫的企业都会遇到增长的瓶颈—大到不能再继续成功。


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