This is interesting: Stanford Business School professor Charles O’Reilly on Why Some Companies Seem to Last Forever:

beautiful path photo by tambako on Flickr cc

What explains this longevity? Stanford Graduate School of Business Professor Charles O’Reilly calls it ‘organizational ambidexterity’: the ability of a company to manage its current business while simultaneously preparing for changing conditions. ‘You often see successful organizations failing, and it’s not obvious why they should fail,’ O’Reilly says. The reason, he says, is that a strategy that had been successful within the context of a particular time and place may suddenly be all wrong once the world changes.

Sure, that makes sense. But I bet I have a better answer: The secret to a lasting business is offering value to customers. Obvious? Yes, sure. But it’s also true. No, it doesn’t contradict, either: The so-called ambidexterity is about looking at what’s affecting value to the customer.

Strategy, organizational ambidexterity, customer service, innovation, creativity, persistence, business planning, seat-of-the-pants hunch management, risk taking, great customer service, great product, great marketing… the supposed secrets to success go on and on.

But how true is it: It all boils down to giving value.

What you want to do is be able to end the business day, every day, knowing that your customers are better off for having spent their money with you. They got value.

photo credit: Tambako the Jaguar via photopin cc

Tim BerryTim Berry

Tim Berry is the founder and chairman of Palo Alto Software and Follow him on Twitter @Timberry.