A million little cuts

Most businesses don’t fail dramatically.

They do it slowly.

But you wouldn’t know that for sitting in at meetings or listening to speeches. Same is true, of course, for countries, non-profits and other organizations.

Human beings respond to emergencies. It’s easy to get everyone to take action if we’re in the middle of some sort of security crisis… but fixing the educational system isn’t going to happen.

Faced with the gradual, inexorable decline that faces most organizations, it’s just natural to try to fix the problem with a broad stroke. A big ad campaign or a new slogan or a totally redesigned website.

The answer, more likely than not, is to consistently and regularly stop the bleeding. To improve the boring stuff.

Organizations fail slowly. They often succeed fast, though. That’s where the remarkable comes in. So, if I had to summarize it: You take a big step up… by being bold. But you avoid a slow death by getting every little thing right.