Hoover’s #5 Key to Successful Enterprise - Consistency of Vision
Gary Hoover, entrepreneur-in-residence at McCombs’ Herb Kelleher Center for Entrepreneurship, pinpoints eight keys to building a successful enterprise based on his 35+ year career experience, including three Fortune 500 companies and four of his own start-ups (Bookstop and Hoover’s Online were his).
Key #5 is Consistency of Vision.
Do you stick to what you are good at and what you believe in, through thick and thin? Do you have a consistent purpose? Hoover says many great American enterprises decayed because they forgot their purpose. Truly great enterprises, like Caterpillar, John Deere, UPS and Target, tend to do one thing or a very few things incredibly well - over and over again.
The day-to-day tactics and business practices can change daily, but the heart and soul of the business stays in the same place and rarely changes. More enterprises have failed because they changed than because they didn't change. For example, Boeing Company, established in 1916 and one of American’s greatest manufacturing companies, lost its way in the late 1990s. It decided it was a services company, not manufacturing. It moved its headquarters to Chicago – leaving the workers and the plants in Seattle. Boeing had always been one of the most ethical companies in America, then started getting investigated for its business practices. In 2003 Boeing went from the #1 airline manufacturer to #2, behind Airbus - a European consortium. With new management, Boeing is getting back on track now, but they lost market share and prestige.
On Feb. 24, Hoover will present his third lecture in his series "The Story of Enterprise: Lessons from Detroit." The event is at the AT&T Center, reception at 5:30 p.m., and talk at 6:15 p.m. It's free and open to the public.