Avoid “Death by 1,000 Cuts”



Don’t be a boiled frog

Boiling Frogs

Small changes are usually ignored – even when they are potentially life-threatening.

Although the often cited anecdote of a frog slowly being boiled alive rather than jumping out of the steaming pot is probably metaphorical rather than true this well documented behaviour is called “normalcy bias”.

Typically however, most people deny that incremental changes are significant – until it’s too late.

Changes are always happening, affecting every business.

At first sight these may appear to be just the equivalent of ‘a small cut’ yet taken together may lead to the carving up of our commercial landscape.

Are you aware of the issues that will affect your business?

Do you have strategies that will allow you to prosper if they should materialise?

Some examples to consider:
Follow the links below
(originally written in February 2011)


Does your Board of Directors help you with developing effective strategies?

Would you like a conversation about how they can be more effective?
Call me for a coffee and a chat.

Risk Management
For a terrific tool to measure the risk profile of your business click here and call Nick Winton to discuss how this affects your decision making.

Avoid “Death by 1,000 cuts”

Your Business Coach or Board of Directors is a vital asset.
They should help you with:

  • your vision for the business
  • great strategies to deliver the vision
  • support in delivering results

Every day small changes take place.
They take place in the commercial landscape in which we do business.

Small adjustments in the way our marketplace operates that are too insignificant to notice. “Just a small change, nothing to worry about.”

Typically we don’t respond.

Why would we?
The change is tiny and irrelevant to our normal activities.

While small movements are often imperceptilbe to us, we are programmed to notice big threats quickly – the fight or flight response is hard-wired into us.

Over time, repeated small adjustments add up to a major change and yet our normal reaction is to carry on as usual. We tend not to notice, or we deny the existence of these gradual, progressive threats until much much later.

So often in business, single small changes are not noticed or responded to until very late in the day. Then, suddenly this accumulation of change can bring the end to a formerly successful business.

These changes in the market are both an opportunity and a threat:

A Real Threat
They are a threat if your business has no process in place to question the landscape it operates in or the strategies it adopts by asking questions such as:

  • what’s changing?
  • how quickly?
  • how will it affect us?

We’re all so busy with operational work that it is difficult to stand back and look at the big picture objectively.

A Real Opportunity
Turn these changes into an opportunity with an effective strategy-team such as a Business Coach or a Board of Directors who can help recognise the shifts and can guide you in setting the right agenda to create profit and manage risk:

This strategy team has 3 roles:

  1. it is custodian of the vision for the business
  2. it helps shape the strategies to make the vision a reality
  3. it monitors and supports you in delivering on these successful strategies

Call me to chat through how your Board can be pro-active and a real asset to your company. Find out how you can turn the risk of “death by 1,000 cuts” into new ideas for a successful company.
I’d love to hear about your business.

Nick Winton