The key takeaway from the readings this week was that just because there is a strategy in place, it does not mean it is the correct business strategy. Also, a successful strategy cannot be initiated in haste. Based on the seven ways to fail article, it outlines the key reasons why organizations fail. I’ve personally experienced working for an organization that followed a few of these guidelines to their detriment. I worked for an oil and gas company whose business strategy was primarily focused on acquiring acreage to use as leverage for joint-ventures with other oil and gas companies. As the natural gas industry began to take a big hit, the company continued to “stubbornly stay the course”. They were not drilling any wells, but continuing to purchase acreage. By 2012, the organization began to lay off employees, and eventually closed down the corporate office and only maintained a small satellite facility. They gave a few employees the option to move to Dallas where the main headquarters were and paid out severance packages to the remaining employees. The organization was not prepared for the changing market in oil and gas. The price drop for natural gas severely affected the industry and other oil and gas companies slowed down their exploration and drilling initiatives which lowered their needs for acquiring acreage. The company I worked for did not have a plan or strategy in place for accounting for such losses.
Southwest is an example of how they identified their strategy based on what was not working with their competitors. They also took well evaluated risks in order to compete within the airline market and continue growth. They continue to expand their flight schedules while still maintaining affordable rates and staying true to their culture of ensuring a great customer experience and recognition of their employees. The organization continues to focus and do what it does best and remains at a level of coherence. Even through new CEO’s, Southwest remained true to the mission and strategy for growth and avoided making faulty decisions to interrupt a controlled expansion.