Find below lessons on how to stay in business for over a 100 years (based on research in to companies with over a century of dividend). It shows the importance of culture as an absolute overarching factor, above strategy.
The common denominator in the companies was a focus on values (not product or service) and people (not capital and technology).
- Keep your organisation flat and seek direct contact with front line staff
- Use the collective wisdom of your staff and your customers
- Give everybody a piece of the action
- Emerge managers in all aspects of the business
- Constantly focus and communicate the values of the company
- Keep debt low
- Visit clients when you are not selling
- All senior managers visit and talk to customers
- Sales people report the anecdotes, stories and the unexpected
- Define what you will NOT do
- Act as a steward