Remember “the book”? In Search of Excellence.

One important conclusion from that book is that excellence is not a static condition. I believe that is because entropy is constantly breaking down whatever excellent framework an excellent company is operating under. Excellence requires the constant input of energy to maintain position. Coast, even for a short time, and entropy begins to dilute the excellence with the mundane.

Overcoming entropy is a complex subject and I don’t feel like writing a dissertation on this very busy Friday!

Here’s something easier to grab.

Successful companies have a penchant for action. (Thank you Tom Peters)

Action. Get moving. Change things. Act!

I see far too many businesses that respond to sales declines with throwing the “off” switches. Stop advertising. Stop marketing. Stop travel. Stop product development. Stop the presses! “No” is the default answer.


No is the easy order to issue. There are cost savings (apparently) thus stopping seems like a better choice than accelerating! It’s not.

Action doesn’t necessarily require spending. Talent expense is a sunk cost. It doesn’t serve to tie their hands. If the sales department wants to try something, consider it. If marketing wants to try something that doesn’t cost money, let them.

Activity produces activity. Action will improve working morale and results. Tension runs a lot higher when there is less to do.


Like what?

Add a page or two to the website. Change an image on the website. Make some calls. Build a list of new product or service offerings. Clean up the office. Clean up the file storage. Have a recognition meeting. Conduct a training. Send a few “Thank You” notes out to clients.


Take action and you will be surprised at how quickly things begin to improve.

And you who apply the brakes when business slows down? Haven’t you noticed that the actions taken when things are slow eventually lead to something good? That next order or new customer won’t come from your waiting for him to show up. 

Don’t be so short sighted.


Chris Reich, TeachU
FW 59