On this episode of The Suite Spot hosts Carlos VargasHoward Holton and Paul Lewis sit down for a thought provoking discussion on how IT leaders can line their organizations up for a successful new year.

“What are they going to learn from what’s happened now to figure out how to lead going forward?” asked Lewis to kick off the discussion.

Holton and Lewis discuss the fallacy of survivorship bias and how analyzing how businesses have been successful in the past is not a complete strategy to designing success in the future.  It is more valuable to look at past successes in combination with those who failed and those who were moderately successful.

Trying to copy the model of the successful is not the best approach.  That is just the model that was successful at that particular time.  Focusing on “becoming the next Amazon” is a flawed approach.

“In reality, we don’t learn from success.  We learn from failure,” said Holton.

Vargas, Lewis, and Holton analyzed the successes and failures of video conferencing and remote communication technologies as an example.  How did they become successful?  Are their products truly superior?  How do these businesses change going into a new year?

When it comes to achieving success, Lewis said, “Focus on where you want to go, not what you want to avoid.”  Leverage the things your business does well and keep sight of the end goal.

There’s more to success than just having a better product.  Many businesses have had the better product and still failed.  Start by selling the “why” of the product and pick out strategic objectives to maintain a true direction and focus for the company.

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