Trouble? Change Hats

I’ve just finished reading “Why Wait for Trouble?” by Kenneth W. Freeman in Strategy and Business. Kenneth described a five stage condition model of a company.

  1. Bleeding
  2. Stability
  3. Gradual Improvement
  4. Rapid Improvement
  5. Arrogance

The danger Kenneth described was remaining in any of these stages too long. I agree, but you probably guessed that I disagree that there are five stages. I believe there are six stages and there are symptoms of remaining in them too long. Again I am referring to my Six Hats, Six Coats metaphor.

  1. Blue Hat: Synchronization Failure. You are not performing transactions at the optimal rate. Bleeding.
  2. Red Hat: Personalization Failure. You are not addressing employee/customer needs. Over Stability.
  3. Black Hat: Physicalization Failure. You are not minimizing cost. Overly Gradual Improvement.
  4. White Hat: Logicalization Failure. You are not maximizing value. Overly Rapid Improvement.
  5. Yellow Hat: Contextual Failure. You are not maintaining uniqueness. Arrogance.
  6. Green Hat: Conceptual Failure. You are not revising your vision. Dictating.

These are the symptoms of wearing any of the Six Hats too long. You can also wear any of the Six Coats too long, but that remains for another post.