David Lykken: Why some companies succeed and some fail – continuous improvement

by MPA11 Jun 2014
In a recent discussion about what makes some companies succeed while others fail, a point was made that I hadn't really considered before. If you look at a list like the Fortune 500 and compare it to the same list 30 years ago, a great majority of the companies that were on the list in 80s aren’t going to be on the list anymore--if they even still exist. Why is that the case? Why do the mighty fall?
 
I think that, a lot of the time, companies get caught up in the same routine. They find a way that works, and they never challenge it. They never take the time to look up and question that path they've taken. They assume that what has worked in the past will likely work in the future. And more often than not, they're wrong.
 
The companies that survive in the long run are those who are continually improving. They are constantly testing the way they do things and are not so caught up in their traditions that they refuse to adapt to changes in the market. There's a word for companies who succeed because cling to their traditions and never challenge the status quo. That word is "luck." They just happen to be at the right place at the right time.
 
The companies that thrive, however, are the ones don't rely on the right circumstances to be successful. They alter their strategies to meet the challenges of the market. They are flexible. They are making constant improvements to the way they do things. Those are the companies that will succeed when others are failing.
 
David Lykken is 40-year industry veteran who has been an owner operator of three mortgage banking companies and a software company. As co-founder and Managing Partner of Mortgage Banking Solutions, David consults on virtually all aspects of mortgage banking with special emphasis executive leadership development, corporate strategic direction and implementation as well as mergers & acquisitions. A regular contributor on CNBC and Fox Business News, David also hosts a successful weekly radio program called “Lykken On Lending” (www.LykkenOnLending.com) that is heard each Monday at noon (Central Standard Time) by thousands of mortgage professionals. Recently he started producing a 1-minute video called “Today’s Mortgage Minute” that appears on hundreds of television, radio and newspaper websites daily across America.
 

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