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GE and Sears Failed - and Why You Should Care

Adam Hartung, Manny Teran
Sears, GE, disruptions, lock-in

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Sears closed its last Illinois store last week.  You're probably surprised they still had any open.  GE announced it is splitting what little is left of the company into 3 pieces, and you most likely thought GE was already as small as it could get.  Despite magnificent histories, in less than 2 decades these 100 year old companies have lost all relevance, and their very survival.

This podcast reveals that this can happen to any company. But it doesn't have to.  There were plenty of signs of trouble, and plenty of opportunities for both companies to turn toward prosperity.  But they ignored the signals, denied the inevitable, and refused to invest in major opportunities for growth.  A story that is far, far, far too common - reflective of how bad assumptions and bad "best practices" are hurting businesses every day.

This podcast also tells you how to use the signals to successfully change and grow.  How to use disruptions and Blank Space (White Space) to grow instead of fail.  It's well worth a listen because all leaders face the risk of losing relevancy and falling into failure mode.

Thinking points:

  • When you see new technologies or business models do you move quickly to see how these create threats and new business opportunities?
  • Is your planning based on defending your past, or on seeking a new future?
  • Are you willing to disrupt your business in order to attack threats and find new opportunities?
  • Are you investing in White Space projects to find new growth opportunities?