Just like aviation seems to have mastered the science of stable flight, so does business look stable and predictable from afar. But at a closer look tailspins are never far-away and remain a possibility. Many companies don’t go out of business over prolonged periods of decline, but rather suddenly. The warning signs for a vicious cycle are there, but the signals are usually weak and management overlooks them until it is too late. At that point revenue spirals downward, less money is available to pursue new business resulting in a reduced probability of getting business, and the enterprise is headed straight for a spectacular crash.
I will save the details for how a company enters tailspin for another blog, but here I want to focus on the key strategy to recover from vicious cycles, and even turn them around into virtuous ones.