Why Do Some Companies Thrive in Uncertainty, Even Chaos, and Others Do Not? What’s Your 20 Mile March?

Natalie Tong posted this in her Facebook. I found it very useful – an excellent article. Thanks.

What’s Your 20 Mile March?

by Brett & Kate McKay on January 6, 2013 · 48 comments

in A Man’s Life, Personal Development 

“Nine years ago, business authors Jim Collins and Morten T. Hansen, along with a team of 20 researchers, set out to answer this question: Why do some companies thrive in uncertainty, even chaos, and others do not?

The group analyzed seven companies that performed not just better than their industry, but ten times better. They discovered a very interesting key finding. The qualities that business gurus frequently tout as being the main difference-makers — things like innovation, creativity, and the ability to quickly pivot in a fast-changing world – were indeed somewhat important, but it was actually discipline, fanatic discipline, that was one of the true master keys of the companies’ success.”

http://artofmanliness.com/2013/01/06/whats-your-20-mile-march/

I personally found the story of the race between Robert Falcon Scott and Roald Amundsen to be the first to reach the South Pole the most interesting because I have watched a film about this race quite recently. I can’t agree more to the researchers’ analysis:

“The pair ( Jim Collins and Morten T. Hansen) later came upon the story of the race between Robert Falcon Scott and Roald Amundsen to be the first to reach the South Pole, and they were amazed to discover how the differences in the way the two expeditions were executed also aligned with their 20 Mile March idea. Amundsen beat Scott to the Pole and had a pretty smooth and uneventful journey both there and back. Scott reached the Pole only to face the crushing realization that the Norwegians had been there first, and he and his four men perished on the grueling 700-mile return trip. Collins and Hansen found that among the many other lessons comparing the two expeditions can teach us, is that much of Amundsen’s success can be traced to creating his own plan, and then carrying it out with methodical, disciplined consistency. In other words, sticking with his 20 Mile March.” http://artofmanliness.com/2013/01/06/whats-your-20-mile-march/

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