Be Simple and Get Important Things Done

I’m fed up with my rationalizing the loss of agility that we have here at EzineArticles, as the size of our team grows… and along come EzineArticles expert author Jim Estill‘s review of Seduced by Success: How the Best Companies Survive the 9 Traps of Winning by Robert J. Herbold.

  1. Sticking with yesterday’s business model
  2. Allowing your products [or services] to become outdated
  3. Clinging to your once-successful branding after it becomes stale and dull
  4. Ignoring your business processes as they become cumbersome and complicated
  5. Rationalizing your loss of speed and agility
  6. Condoning poor performance and letting your star employees languish
  7. Getting lulled into a culture of comfort, casualness, and confidence
  8. Not confronting turf wars, infighting, and obstructionists
  9. Unwittingly providing schizophrenic communications

Are you guilty of any of the above business traps?


RonPrice writes:

Just as casting is important in the role of the director so too is this the case for writers as they choose just what they will include in their work from the thousands of people who have been on the stage of their life. The right cast helps the dramaturgical process on the stage as well as between the covers of a book. A good play, a successful production, says Sue Rider, ‚¬“is one which is electrifying, spiritually, emotionally, visually and intellectually stimulating for the people who see it, the audience.‚¬(1) This is, I think, equally true of the final product of a piece of writing. As the writer of this work, I have to be like a creative director and create an artistic environment where my own creativity can blossom. Flexibility, openness to change, listening to others, indeed, a wide range of qualities needed for creativity to find a home are necessary if the work is to live and engage others. Even then, in the end, only some will come to see the production, read the article or read the book. Few of the total population will become stimulated. The exercise is not fundamentally about popularity, at least not to me, however important a variable popularity may be.(1)Donna Benjamin, ‚¬“Australian Women Theatre Directors,‚¬ Thesis At La Trobe University, 1994.

Comment provided December 19, 2007 at 9:28 AM



//doing my Brian the dog from Family Guy impersonation//

Uhmm, what?

Comment provided December 19, 2007 at 9:33 AM



Hi Chris!

We have to change constantly, study and follow the new discoveries and facts without indolence if we want to keep our success alive.

Comment provided December 19, 2007 at 11:54 AM



I feel inclined to respond to number 3, which was:

“Clinging to your once-successful branding after it becomes stale and dull.”

I agree with this. But rather than scrap the entire plan, carry what is good along with you as you let the chaff fall by the wayside.

Picture your brand as a wave in the ocean, cycling through change.

When you alter your brand (or business model, as it were), it APPEARS that you are retracting or withdrawing, but really you’re rolling forward.

(I’m really fond of the wave analogy, can you tell?)

By the way, that impression of Brian the Dog was dead-on.


Comment provided December 19, 2007 at 12:20 PM


John J. Alquist writes:

Chris, your concerns are very true.

Since the 21st Century is totally different than that of the last Century, we business people and writers must change to adapt.

This Century is characterized by Internet business proficiency, globalism and the elimination of trade and commerce barriers almost everywhere.

Moreover, information grows at a faster rate. Brian Tracy says that total knowledge doubles and triples every few years. I believe he is correct.

All of these things considered, we can’t stagnate or
cling to the bast. We have to hustle and innovate–and do so at a faster rate than ever.

Agility or lack thereof will make or brake any business. “We’ve always done it that way” is
a mindset that will destroy any business or profession.

Comment provided December 19, 2007 at 1:34 PM


Lance Winslow writes:

Indeed a talking Gecko may not workout forever, sometimes you have to change your message. You see, I have some really good news… I just saved a bunch of money by switching…

You see, “Change is the only constant” and Einstein was really right on that. Businesses evolve, they go from one stage to another, rule breakers to rule makers, from fly-by-seat-of-your-pants to structured, and so too does simplicity build complexity. It just is, but if you understand that at the root level and you “get” the philosophy behind it all you can maintain the “fluidity of motion” and remain nimble.

You can stay number one, you can change and excuses, procrastination, hypocrisy, bureaucracy are the only true evil. So, fight the good fight, focus and ditch the fear. And you will feel young again and your company will soar. Something to contemplate in 2008.

Comment provided December 19, 2007 at 5:10 PM


RonPrice writes:

The first essayist in the Western tradition M. Montaigne made some useful points which I have point and counter-pointed in relation to my own writing work to and its analysis of self and other. I would like to make some general statements in relation to Montaigne’s thoguht that will illuminate my own work and make what I hope is a useful response on this thread.

I think that the vast majority of the human race is at this stage in its social evolution either incapable, disinterested or simply caught up in a diveristy of other interests that come to human beings as they journey through life, to engage in the kind of written examination and intense effort that Montaigne or, indeed, many would like other writers and participants in organizational life would like to see taken or undertaken. We each have our skills and writing is, for most people, not one of them.

It seems absolutely essential for a writer, a poet, an organization analyst and theorist, to be to some degree aloof, detached, from the situation he finds himself in life. To put this a little differently, writers need to be able to unburden themselves by the act of writing. They make words of much in life that they touch. They are outside themselves or, perhaps, inside themselves when they write, facing an external vacuity. They convert themselves into a high-tension wire to transmit a message. They are, in some ways, more a creation of what they write more than the creator of what they write. The words make, define, create, the experience in a curious and surprising sort of way. There are a hundred phrases and sentences to describe the writing process. These are some. My poetry explores this question, this process, ad nauseum.

I find it difficult to discuss the inner life. What Montaigne says in those seminal essays(1580 ca) is one of the best methods of approaching this ‚¬inner life and private character’. I have a five volume Journal or Diary with two volumes of photographic commentary, but none of this material is on my website. At this stage of the development of this site the writing in this Diary is either too personal or too irrelevant to include.

My approach to discussing the human condition or, as the French say, le condition humaine, is very much Montaigne’s. I do not find it difficult to avoid an endless discussion of the surfaces of life. Some writers, like Thomas Mann, write about the quotidian realities ad infinitum in their Journals. Poetry helps me get to the depths, to the general and the personal in one swoop of words.

I have yet to talk about my own feces, my hind parts, the many sordid details of life, as Montaigne did. My preference is to leave out these personal features of my life. Many aspects of the contemporary scene, like the intensely personal, are so complex, intricate and vast that I can’t imagine ever poeticizing about or commenting on them in my Journal, my essays or indeed in any other genre. It seems to me, as it did to Montaigne, that it is depth not breadth that is the goal.

While the thrust of what Montaigne says is true, there is something at the core of man, the soul, that is a mystery. In all the writing, however deep and profound, man, myself, is a mystery.

I’m not sure how relevant the above is!just delete it if it is too wide of the mark!to tangential to the theme.-Ron Price, Tasmania

Comment provided December 19, 2007 at 5:26 PM



The truth is that your comment was quite long Ron, but never mind.
Sometimes I write long comments here too, depending on the subject. It’s ok.

Never mind about the topic too. We usually change it a lot while discussing.

However, we are very well organized here.
Our conclusions are always brilliant!

Comment provided December 19, 2007 at 6:15 PM



I think I’ve probably been guilty of all of these at one time or another. I’m probably working on each of these nine at any given time as well.

Such is the life of an entrepreneur.

But what caught me the most is Chris’s opening sentence: “I’m fed up with my rationalizing the loss of agility that we have here at EzineArticles, as the size of our team grows.”

Replace EzineArticles with JCME and oh man, I hear you. I so hear you.

Comment provided December 19, 2007 at 8:09 PM


Chris Ralph writes:

“and along come EzineArticles expert author”

That should be “and along comes EzineArticles expert author”.

Unfortunately, you can’t make up for a lack of time and increase agility by ignoring your product QA, although many businesses attempt that.


Comment provided December 20, 2007 at 10:41 AM


Nick writes:

Here I Come:

I have few things to point out in each of the point that I feel should not be ignored.

“Sticking with yesterday’s business model” – Don’t stick with yesterday’s business model but don’t give up on the salient features that made it success, like superb quality, good customer response, timely actions. I feel a lot of business try to come up with new models but simply forget what made them success. In trying to come up with new and keeping abreast with the changes, they forget that its not a new model that gets customer rather its a successful model that gets customer. I think most companies fail at it though the extent differs, as an exception I find that most Microsoft products are simple to use and that was and is the reason for their immediate popularity. Vista (include office 2007 too) might be an exception and I am sure they are going to take a beating with Vista for the confusion and irritation it creates. But despite crashes (remember windows 98) and ‘blue screen of death’, MSWindows is still the simplest operating system to use. By the way, I have Fedora Core Installed on my system too, but I am not the one to trade the power with convenience, so Fedora just lies dormant out there to impress the weaker ones ;).

My lesson to take from this is that while you are kicking of your old business model, take pains to pick the elements that in first place made it successful. Always try to keep them into your new business model or at least thoroughly review your decision.

“Allowing your products [or services] to become outdated ” – I think most companies are well aware of it and they keep on updating fast and quick, however the problem comes up when the updates are not meaningful. I am highly disappointed by the way Google is trying to keep itself updated. Till 2006 I won’t even think of any other search engine. Google was my favorite SE and everything else was crap. However, now if I don’t find the relevant thing in two searches, I jump onto or It works!. Searching on Google is turning into searching on Google Wide Web instead of World Wide Web. And yeah the way they are updating their user data retention policy, gives me a bad feeling.
I think your updates should be in sync with what user expects and wants, guiding your user to a particular direction is good, forcing them your way IS BAD!.

“Clinging to your once-successful branding after it becomes stale and dull ” – Doubtful, I mean again I am not a champion on branding or marketing and I have full respect for the author, but this conflicts to my basic reasoning. Is Yahoo dead or has Apple lost its sheen. Once successful brand has a higher chance or rebound than a new brand, the above two examples say that. Apple was nearly dead as a brand, a nearly bankrupt company but the way it has rebound and made a place for itself has definitely impressed its critics and fans alive. Yahoo is still stale and dull but there is no point leaving it. If anyone has a user power worth challenging Google, its yahoo. They are still the number one visited website.

“Ignoring your business processes as they become cumbersome and complicated” – I don’t think I have reached a stage to really understand the meaning of it. I am still a scout in business management world though I am seriously striving for an upgrade to Paladin.

“Rationalizing your loss of speed and agility” – Can’t help that, once you grow beyond a certain stage, you will have to segregate ‘decision makers’ and ‘Managers’, once that happens the loss of speed and agility is inevitable. I really wish those business school taught more on how to be a decision maker instead of manager. I think they should analyze why so many few MBA’s make it to the top 100 richest people list but may be it will change over the time. On second thought, may be it won’t.

“Condoning poor performance and letting your star employees languish” – Perfect! Except that for some companies it means that suck the life out of your start employees, make them regret that they are star employees. They are humans and not oxen. Occasional poor performance should not meet with a harsh treatment, its a part of life, no team wins every tournament and if you force them, they will lose all.

“Getting lulled into a culture of comfort, casualness, and confidence” – For example “Google”; won’t say more here lest they decide to sue me or PENALIZE ME. :)
“I Love Google !!” – Nick

“Not confronting turf wars, infighting, and obstructionists ” – Holds true as long as you are not one of them, as an entrepreneur I have often found myself the biggest obstructionist, it hurts my ego when someone tries to bypasses me, it hurts my planning when some goes overboard and does something. So start with yourself first. Its not easy to confront infighting and obstructionists because everyone has his or her own viewpoint that will not align to yours most of the time. So you need to balance the two.

“Unwittingly providing schizophrenic communications” – My English is not that good and I am yet to read the book! If you have please follow up with a comment below. :)

Please note that I am not in anyway criticising anyone or anything here.Its just thoughts that have flown from my mind to my fingers. If you find anything offensive, ignore it.

Comment provided December 28, 2007 at 12:54 PM


Ravi writes:

what worked yesterday does not work any more. You need to transform first your way of thinking and then your way of doing things will change and this will bring in new different results. The crux of the matter is to kep transforming your ways of thinking.

Comment provided January 18, 2008 at 10:57 PM


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