Whilst on holiday, I came across a lecture on ancient Mediterranean cultures such as the Minoans, Mycenaeans, and Greeks, and why they either established themselves and thrived, or quickly disappeared. Finding myself with a spare hour, I decided to sit in and listen
It was striking how the determining factors that were relevant over 2,000 years ago, still have similarities today in how a Company undertakes its business and highlights exactly why continual assessment of its strategy and risk should always be an ongoing process.
There were three main factors why a successful culture could run into problems.
- It expanded its territory too quickly and in doing so, weakened itself if the rulers did not find enough strong people to represent them in the distant lands they had taken over.
- Their success caused complacency which allowed their enemies to gather in secret and then spring a surprise attack to conquer and take over the land and enslave the incumbent population
- A natural disaster such as a volcanic eruption wiped out the culture. In today’s age, this could be translated as a disaster in terms of a major health and safety or quality failure event, leading to loss of clients with a catastrophic effect on a Company.
It is a reminder that whilst innovation is often the main route to a company’s development, sometimes, it is useful on occasion to look back and reflect on lessons learned from history. By doing this, it can be ensured that mistakes made by others are not repeated in the current environment which has a natural consequence of ensuring that the company remains strong for the future.
Jon Featherstone, Delivery Director