core competencies

I had a number of interviews this week with most of the top management of my current client. The company is extremly profitable which is more due to the industry than anything else,  but the company is around for many decades. During my interviews it was interesting to hear that no matter if I talked to a technical, financial or marketing manager, everybody made at one point the same statement. We need to focus more on the activities that generate cash and in general on our core competencies. Now this is consultant-speek 101, but I think they actually have a point. Maybe established companies get sidetracked by their stringly developed organisation, complex structures due to international operations, M&A-activities and the wish to do every detail state of the art.

Young companies have no chance to dedicate resources on topics such as public relations, health and security, and so on. So they should have an disadvantage in that topic, right? But I believe companies that put alot of effort in these topics and built up teams of specialists at some point start to get in the way of their actual business again. Because specialist units, e.g. technical expert units, start to increase their quality demands on the operational business,  but do not support the implementation of the needed measures. In the end the business manager has less time for his actual work “making money for the company”. The start-ups I worked for demanded that you do what is needed for the company. It was up to everybody to decide where to put his focus at the time.

So I wonder what is the better situation.

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