How great companies commit suicide
used to be dead easy. Today, however, businesses operate at one of two extremes.
Either utopia is just around the corner, or it's the apocalypse and everything's
going to implode around us. The middle bit has disappeared. We are at the edges
and we have a choice about which one of those two we end up in.
big failure was once a huge success
At Marks & Spencer, the billions of pounds of profit turned
into profits warnings in a relatively short period of time. Asda, when I joined
it, had a billion pounds of debt. We were about to breach all our banking
covenants, there were no likeforlike sales, and 40,000 people thought they
were going to lose their jobs.