With the warm glow of steady and more-or-less predictable profits to depend on, more and more policies are introduced, more new ways of extracting profits are developed, the company loses touch with its customers, fewer activities are directly related to what Geoffrey Moore famously called the “core” and instead have to do with context, and the company seems to lose its agility. The internal world comes to matter more than what is going on outside the boundaries of the company and it just sort of loses its edge. The difficulty here is that this doesn’t happen overnight. Convinced that they have a sustainable competitive advantage (always a risky way to think about your business), executives allow bureaucracy to take over and decision-making to become sclerotic.
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