Summary of Want to Get Ahead? Be Paranoid

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When your company is performing well, it’s easy to become blinded by your own success. But complacency is a risky attitude. As technological acceleration brings wave upon wave of upheaval, myopic businesses – even those that are leaders within their industries – can become obsolete overnight. Thus, management consultant Lars Fæste argues for operating in a constant state of paranoia. With a focused plan, any company can pre-empt and adapt to change.

About the Speaker

Lars Fæste is a senior partner at the Boston Consulting Group, where he is the global leader of transformation practice.



Even successful companies will pay the ultimate price if they rest on their laurels.

Commonplace expressions that promote continuity such as “never change a winning team” or “if it ain’t broken, don’t fix it” are dangerous and misguided. Rather, businesses, governments, nonprofit organizations and even sports teams should always be prepared to alter a successful formula in response to or in anticipation of new circumstances.

Due to technological acceleration, society is facing unprecedented exponential change. Today, one-third of all companies can expect to be out of business within the next five years, a fate just 5% of enterprises faced 50 years ago.

To keep your business on a growth trajectory, get accustomed to being paranoid.

To survive and thrive, managers must maintain a constant state of paranoia. They must question all their decisions and seek continual improvement, even when their firms are already the most successful in their...

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