Getting to the top is hard, regardless of the context and background. Steering a large business or academic institution to the top of its field, or training hard to become the best in your sphere within your chosen sport or activity, rarely do these achievements just happen.

But once you achieve your ambitions, or assist your organisation in achieving its ambitions, what next? Some will argue that the hard work has just begun, and staying at the top is sometimes harder to achieve than getting there in the first place. I think there’s something in that sentiment.

History is riddled with tales of organisations that succeed, reach a peak level of performance and eventually wilt and die on the vine. Just 10 years ago every executive worth their salt had a Blackberry in their pocket or handbag, and a generation ago the brand name ‘Hoover’ became a verb and became a word widely used to collectively refer to all vacuum cleaners (I wonder what Dyson makes of that). I can’t recall the last time I saw a Blackberry, or used a Hoover branded vacuum cleaner.

I recently met with a company that has achieved great success over the last 3-5 years and is held in the highest regard within its sector. However I was refreshed to hear that the company’s senior managers are acutely aware that they can’t rest and need to continuously press on and improve in order to remain at the top.

Here are three reasons why every successful business needs to have that mentality and revisit the drawing board from time-to-time:


  1. Your Competition is Watching, Learning and Plotting How to Beat You.

If your business is successful you can bet your life that the competition is watching your every move and trying not only to emulate you but to surpass you and beat your business on every playing field possible. This could be product development, price, service delivery or even brand power.

Every business needs to review itself through the eyes of its competition occasionally, as well as the eyes of a consumer.


  1. Today’s Consumer Expects Continuous Improvement.

Consumers expect improvements and enhancements in the products they buy and/or the service they receive. In almost every sector products and services alike have improved more in the last handful of years than in the many decades that preceded, and companies need to run at the pace of their consumer expectations.


  1. Brand Loyalty is Becoming a Thing of the Past.

Consumers are nibble, fickle and no longer loyal. An increasing number of consumers are more inclined to change their buying habits than ever before. This doesn’t just apply to fast moving consumer products, but the actual retail stores from which they buy such products, the brand of cars that they buy, the banks and energy companies that they use.

So, if you and your business has successfully climbed to the top of its field you’d better look back with regularity and try to emulate the aggressive future actions of your nearest rivals.