Thursday, January 21, 2010

A Strategic Inflection Point for the Legionaries of Christ

Andy Grove of Intel discusses "strategic inflection points" in the preface to his book "Only The Paranoid Survive." The book describes a rare event: in the world of business: a successful company changes its business model. It's full of common sense.

Beyond his worries about products, service and competitors Andy Grove is concerned about the impact of "Strategic inflection points."  Read Andy's words and think about the Legionaries. In the wake of the revelations about Fr. Maciel and in the throes of an ApostolicVisitation it seems to me that the Congregation and its men are going through an inflection point. How they react and adjust will determine their future.

"An 'inflection point' occurs when the old strategic picture dissolves and gives way to the new.

"A strategic inflection point is a time in the life of a business when its fundamentals are about to change. That change can mean an opportunity to rise to new heights. But it may just as likely signal the beginning of the end.

Strategic inflection points can be caused by technological change but they are more than technological change. They can be caused by competitors but they are more than just competition. They are full-scale changes in the way business is conducted, so that simply adopting new technology or fighting the competition as you used to may be insufficient. They build up force so insidiously that you may have a hard time even putting a finger on what has changed, yet you know that something has. Let's not mince words: A strategic inflection point can be deadly when unattended to. Companies that begin a decline as a result of its changes rarely recover their previous greatness.

But strategic inflection points do not always lead to disaster. When the way business is being conducted changes, it creates opportunities for players who are adept at operating in the new way. This can apply to newcomers or to incumbents, for whom a strategic inflection point may mean an opportunity for a new period of growth." (italics are not in the original).

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