The Undisciplined Pursuit of More

Why do some companies fail and others succeed? It’s a question explored by author Jim Collins in his book How The Mighty Fall. According to Collins, there are 5 reasons why companies fail; one is the undisciplined pursuit of more.

The undisciplined pursuit of more refers to the tendency for people and companies to strive for unlimited growth and acquisition, without considering the potential negative consequences or the need for balance and moderation. This behavior is often driven by a desire for wealth, power, or other forms of success, and can lead to reckless decision-making and a lack of focus on long-term goals. It can also contribute to environmental degradation, social inequality, and other problems.

How do you know your company is pursuing the undisciplined pursuit of more and is slowly dying?

Markers (indicators) that your organization is at stage 2 of decline. When you have….

1.      Unmaintainable quest for growth. Confusing big with great. (many outlets)

2.      Undisciplined continuous leaps (dramatic moves). (random changes).

3.      Declining proposition of right people in key seats. (availability of skill-sets).

4.      Erosion of cost discipline (throwing money to problems instead of your brains).

5.      Overly controlling people by introducing bureaucratic rules that end up subverting freedom and responsibility culture in the organization

6.      Personal interest overriding organizational interests. (power and resources).

7.      Problematic succession of power (we thought this was just in Africa, we now know better).

How do you overcome the undisciplined pursuit of more?

One word: focus.

Focus on going deeper (better) instead of overextending yourself. Focus on being great, as opposed to just growing (expansions) and revenues. Focus on building your company into a unit of responsibility, offer world class solutions, build your pocket of greatness; deliver consistent tactical excellence.

3 Ways to combat the undisciplined pursuit of more

There are several ways to combat the undisciplined pursuit of more.

  1. Focus on setting clear, achievable goals and prioritizing long-term sustainability and well-being over short-term gains. This can help individuals and organizations to make more mindful and intentional decisions, rather than being driven by a desire for limitless growth.
  2. Promote education and awareness about the potential negative consequences of the undisciplined pursuit of more, such as environmental degradation and social inequality. This can help to foster a greater understanding of the importance of balance and moderation, and encourage people to consider the long-term impacts of their actions.
  3. Policy and regulatory measures can be implemented to discourage reckless and unsustainable behavior, and to promote more sustainable and equitable forms of growth and development. This can include initiatives such as taxing activities that have negative environmental impacts, or providing incentives for businesses to adopt sustainable practices.

Overall, combating the undisciplined pursuit of more requires a combination of individual and collective action, as well as a shift in societal values and priorities.

Patrick Bet-David of Valuetainment talks more about How The Mighty Fall: