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Breaking the Scandinavian cycle

March 18, 2013

We are a good company. We grow, we make money, we win awards. But we could become a great company. To do that, we need to change.

(second of a three-part series exploring the “new” TARGIT - read part 1)

TARGIT is, fundamentally, a Danish company. I was born in Denmark, the majority of our employees are Danish, and we first achieved significant success in our home country. But to succeed in the United States, we needed to recalibrate how we describe “success”.

Denmark is a small country, only about five million people. Businesses back home need to be flexible and broad in the way they approach the marketplace. You can’t ignore the small opportunity in favor of the long-term big opportunity. If McDonald’s were based in Denmark, you could buy glasses of wine and newspapers at every location. Why? Because over the years, two or three customers would have asked for them.

That’s not how it works here in the US.

The time I spent at Harvard Business School taught me that atrophy should be as scary, if not more so, than change. The course triggered some ideas that I’m now putting into action.

I named my plan, “Good to Great” (no connection with the book of the same title). We are a good company. We grow, we make money, we win awards. But we could become a great company. To do that, we need to change.

That goes for me, too. I believe I’ve been a good CEO for TARGIT, but if I’m going to turn this company into a great company, I need to be better. I spent some time reflecting and considering if I was up to the task, and I believe I am. Developing myself and developing my team with this resurgent energy is the fastest and most efficient way for us to get from good to great.

Just thinking about our situation in these terms makes me feel like I’m an entrepreneur again. In the old days, every day was life and death, every big decision affected whether or not the company would survive to see the next quarter. Now, the stakes aren’t survival vs. failure, but stagnation vs. success.

Read more in part three

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