I have used this analogy before but it is certainly worth repeating as the similarities are apparent and potential impact “alarming”…
Business systems suffer from their own version of cholesterol…it’s called…COMPLEXITY. If you don’t test for it you don’t know if it is doing damage to the vital inter-connections upon which your system is dependent!
By the time the outward signs show themselves irreparable damage is done. Sufficiently fit and able to carry out the day-to-day tasks that sustain you but “found wanting” and unable to perform when put under stress e.g. confronted with a physical challenge, fighting a disease, adapting to a change of circumstance. We don’t know what the future holds but we can say that it is more uncertain now than at any time in (at least) a generation!
We are learning more lessons from nature than at any time in our history since “The Origin of Species”.
A business is a system, like the human body. It is reliant upon its component parts and its ecosystem (marketplace, supply chain, etc.) communicating, working efficiently and interdependently to enable it to perform and sustain itself and its stakeholders.
Unlike our bodies a business does have the ability to renew its structure and to thrive again BUT SURVIVAL IS NOT GUARANTEED! A business needs to have sufficient “reserves” and the means to re-generate.
A business that was once fit enough to survive in a familiar environment – like a stable, buoyant, economy – is, not necessarily adequately equipped to do so when the environment changes – a turbulent and unpredictable economy – where, what sustains it is in shorter supply or harder to come by. The business matures (ages) and can lose some of the skills or agility that were once its mainstays. Read more of this post