A Circus Doomed To Fail

Imagine that you are the owner of a circus and you and your team make the following poor decisions:

  • You try to compete against other circuses much larger than you in their area
  • You don't have a clear purpose or resulting outcomes in mind
  • You fire or lose your best performers
  • You finally get the word out about your circus but don't have enough seats or concessions
You couldn't expect your circus to be successful, could you? Well, the shipping giant DHL attempted to beat those odds in the US shipping market in 2003. According to an article in the November 11 Wall Street Journal, they:
  • Underestimated the intensity of the competition (other circuses)
  • Didn't have a cohesive strategy (clear purpose)
  • Failed to retain top talent when they acquired shipper Airborne (performers)
  • Failed to ensure it could handle the rush of business that came with its ad campaign in 2004. As a result it quickly developed a reputation for poor service. (Poor service)

Ultimately, the economy proved too much for them... when combined with all these missteps. What about your organization's circus? Are the right decisions being made to keep the circus going in a tough environment... or are you in danger of packing up and moving on to a new town? And as a ringmaster of a work team or department what can you do to keep the performance a positive one?