Warning Signs

  • Publication Date:
    July 2013

Sometimes companies implode, spectacularly, with little warning, in a blaze of CNBC headlines, hastily arranged press conferences, heated accusations and denials, shareholder lawsuits, calls for congressional hearings, and photos of dazed ex-employees holding file boxes in front of the HQ building. But more often, failing companies do so gradually, under pressure from disruptive technologies, global competition, demographic shifts, and/or bad management decisions. Quarter after quarter, executives, mid-level managers, and rank-and-file employees carry on as if the chart arrows angled upward instead of downward, crafting optimistic internal memos and investor reports.

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