When your Success Hurts You

Things are going well! Your business is growing, your clients are happy, finances are all comfortably in the black and your employees all have smiles on their faces.

You can now relax and simply enjoy a job well done. Let the systems run themselves since whatever they are doing, seems to be working.


You can prepare for the worst.

Success Breeds Complacency

Positive outcomes do not incentivize innovation.

When things are going well, our instinct is to continue doing more of the same. After all: it’s working, right? Why rock the boat.

So we continue as we are and become more and more settled in our ways. Same messaging, same marketing, same sales process, same reporting, same team meetings, etc., etc., etc.

Change becomes more and more difficult as it now requires not just a process review, but also re-training, maybe even a cultural shift.

And before we know it we have gone from successful experimentation to formulaic complacency.

Innovation is continuous

Never stop developing. Learning and Innovation need to be worked into your business structure, rather than new tasks you try when something suddenly goes wrong.

Always be learning. Question everything. 

Speak to your clients and ask them questions. What is working well for them, what could be improved, what has changed since the last time you spoke to them? Follow your industry news, and that of other industries or practices that can affect you and your clients.

Take what you learn and apply it to your product your service, your company culture and practices, your sales and marketing, and your management. Don’t become complacent or you will be left behind while your competition evolves.

To Do

  1. Determine the channels through which you can learn – people, news, associations, etc. 
  2. Instruct your team to start using these channels and asking more questions
  3. Ensure you have a regular review session to share what everybody has learned, and discuss what parts of the business it might impact