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Every company has a best before date and your mindset determine what date that is.

There is only one certain thing about life: death. History shows us that this also applies to corporations. Whether you recognize it or not, your company will die. Eventually. You just don´t know when, but one thing that we do know is this: the responsibility for constantly pushing the best-before-date further ahead in time lies with executive management.

I had actually decided to not join in on the choir ranting about the immense stupidity of DJT. As posting likes and sour comments on Facebook and LinkedIn produces absolutely no change at all. But I must use him as an example on what (poor) leadership is about.

Throughout the entire campaign, DJT was vigilant about reducing government to a bare minimum, “securing that corporations can succeed on its own”. He would “shake things up” in order to make America great again. Seemingly going back to the roots of the foundation where the constitution offers everything you need to succeed in America.

If you take a look at the mapping of Red vs. Blue voting in Cities vs. Rural areas, you quickly understand what it´s all about: jobs. Unemployment rates are sky-high in rural areas and the future is bleek, and this is what The Don has promised to fix. Cities? Not so much a problem, hence blue support.

In his first move to elevate his credibility with the rural masses he has made and agreement saving 1000 manufacturing jobs at Carrier in the US using a combination of carrot and stick. (Carrot = Tax relief – Stick = Threatening the owners with import taxes in the area of 35%) This will allow Carrier to maintain their outdated, customer averse, labor-intense production process. The hope: that by “government getting out of the way” this company will magically start making money. (1000 jobs BTW equals 0.2% of all manufacturing jobs in Indiana. You can read more about the story here.)

There is absolutely no recollection, in this decision, that the peril the company is in, is 100% due to the lack of innovative leadership displayed by the management of the company. They put themselves in this position by focusing on doing what they had always done rather than figuring out their place in the future.

There is no doubt that had Donald not done what he did, the factory workers would lose their jobs for the benefits of Mexican labor.

But is that such a bad thing? The world is in an everlasting state of change. Has always been and will always be. Only incompetent leaders and politicians seem to believe that status-quo can be maintained. Industries die only to be replaced by new industries. Jobs disappears only to be replaced by new jobs. This is nothing new; Dr. Michio Kaku says “The job market of the future will consist of those jobs that robots cannot perform”.

I believe this to be fundamentally true, and in order to meet the future we need courageous leaders and an educational system that prepares our young for this future, not the industrial revolution the system was designed for.

I don´t know if the jobs could have been saved by focusing more on innovation. But if not, then a very simple fact emerges: They have reached their best-before-date! They are going out of business simply because that´s the nature of life and business. If no one wants to buy your products at asking price, even when you have dumped your salaries so low that your employees cannot live of them, and you are forced to survive on government subsidiaries, maybe you have no reason to exist?

What DJT has promised to do is not easy from a political standpoint even in socialist Scandinavia. Saving poorly run companies through tax-relief is not part of the job-description for government. Not even here. We of course have a history of saving the banks and partially government owned and poorly managed SAS Group but that is, as they say, a topic for another posting.

The paradox of the DJT involvement is the following: for arguments sake, let´s say that the company magically manages to survive and transit to a new era of production. Let´s say that they even become profitable. The losses this company has on its balance will be used in the future for the purpose of tax-reducing its profits. This is common practice and for DJT (who is something of an expert in this field) - the “hate the government” guy - this means that the government and the people of America will now have paid twice for saving a company that (maybe) should not have been saved in the first place. So much for disabling government involvement in business.

A company that places all its bets in the mass market domain of the maturity curve (you know: leading edge, early adopters, early mass, late mass, and laggards?) must be fantastic at innovating simply because they are playing in a market that already has a best-before-date stamped on its products. In addition, we see that the decline in most cases is due to a (largely) single-handed focus on bottom line performance - profits before growth. Top-line growth is rarely the focus (probably because it is the most difficult part of the equation) and while most managers are great at reducing costs and streamlining processes or rightsizing the organisation, or whatever you call it, they have little knowledge on how to grow the company by unleashing their greatest asset for growth: its people.

You have no choice – you innovate or you die! That is the only law of business!

Your company also have a best before date, and I am quite certain that your biggest problem is not understanding where the future lies, but rather how to deal with the changes you need to execute. You might need to learn more about these millennials who are so difficult and disloyal, and you might have some outdated legacy systems to get rid of, but whether you succeed or not depends on your mindset and your commitment to the race towards success and not how you run from failure.

You either have a growth mindset or a closed mindset. (You want to know the biig secret? The growth mindset always wins)!

Do you think you have what it takes to compete with the best? You have what it takes to develop a growth mindset? Do you want your people, teams and company to grow? Then we should talk!

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