He was analyzing a large temporary employment agency that was looking to expand overseas. In one conversation with the company’s CEO. He heard the words But everyone in our industry has always done it this way. That the first sign of a phenomenon he recognized as significant but couldn’t quite put his finger on. Fast-forward to 2007. Vermeulen was taking a three-month break from LBS to read widely on cultural anthropology in particular. The rituals that had supposedly benefited various tribes over human history. With the help of a research assistant he noticed that the literature often documented anomalies. Some of a tribe’s rituals were clearly harmful but they persisted. One example was tattooing practices in Mexico Email Lists Polynesia. Which as Vermeulen wrote in his book Breaking Bad Habits Defy Industry Norms and Reinvigorate. Your Business Harvard Business Review Press 2017 often proved fatal for the person receiving the tattoos.
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Vermeulen remembers realizing that the situation was exactly the same with management practices. Best practices in some companies may have actually become inefficient even “stupid,” as Vermeulen says in Breaking Bad Habits. He then started working on a simulation model involving 1,000 companies. With Xu Li his former student now an assistant professor. At the European School of Management and Technology in Berlin. They found a widespread perception bias that led managers to ascribe success disproportionately to particular company strategies. The managers tended to gulf email list focus too much on the most successful appliers. Their preferred strategies and not on whether those strategies in the context. The whole set of companies were successful in aggregate.
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This finding helped confirm to Vermeulen that executives are likely have blind spots. That prevent them from noticing and weeding out bad habits such as a strategy. That might have worked for years but that no longer does. In other words they are doing something because that’s how we have always done it. Like viruses at least currently bad habits can eradicated Vermeulen admits. But a focus on diagnosing them is a good start and can even create sources of innovation. Vermeulen spent an hour with strategy business in his offices at the London Business School overlooking. The city’s Regent’s Park in November 2017. Much of the conversation revolved around. how his many years observing corporate bad habits had synthesized in his book.