Factors of Top Performing Businesses
In order of biggest influence (biggest first):
- Graft a.k.a. criminality.
- Unethical practices.
- Rape of the planet.
- Friends in high places.
- Effective shared assumptions and beliefs.
Most entrepreneurs admit that their success is largely down to luck. Being in the right place at the right time, and so on.
Criminal enterprises such as Enron or Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities are widely known. Graft on relatively smaller scales is widespread as a business strategy or tactic.
Unethical practices such as stealing from employees, explotation of employees or customers, rape of pension funds, unethical marketing practices, and so on are so widespread as to be common practice.
Rape of the planet
Many businesses inflate their profits through appropriation of natural resources (water, forests, carbon deposits, minerals, etc.).
Friends In high places
Favourable treatment by e.g. regulators or legislators can lead to increased profits, revenues, etc., if you know the right people from whom or via whom to secure such favours.
Effective shared assumptions and beliefs
Way down at the bottom of my list is actually running the business effectively. Little wonder then that all the other options listed here seem much more common as strategies for “success”.
Most of the options listed here reside more or less outside the control of the businesses in question. Luck is rarely in the control of the protagonists. Graft risks prosecution and sanctions such as jail. Unethical practices risk alienating customers. Rape of the planet risks alienating society, more than ever nowadays. Friends in high places relies on having such friends, and avoiding scrutiny of such relationships.
Only the last option in the list confers some degree of integrity. But then when did integrity ever count for much in business?