Christian Stadler

 

On his book Enduring Success: What We Can Learn from the History of Outstanding Corporations

Cover Interview of February 07, 2011

Lastly

Whenever the economy takes a dive in the manner we experienced after the subprime housing crisis, the public, media, and businesspeople seem to wonder why some corporate giants fail while others survive.

This book provides some systematic insights from history.  Rather than speculating about potential tips and tricks, the book builds upon careful analysis and recalls insightful stories from the past.

As I talked to managers across the world, and was questioned by journalists about my work, they were always particularly interested in knowing to what extent I thought my insights would help companies in the future.

My answer has always been the same.  We have a tendency to view our times as unparalleled and uniquely challenging.  In fact, every generation does that.

When Romans learned that Julius Caesar was assassinated in the Senate in 42 B.C. they surely thought the world would come to an end.  When, in 1966, Neil Armstrong raised the American flag on the moon, the exploration of space no longer seemed pure science fiction.  And, when in 1989, the Berlin Wall tumbled down, millions of people cheered to a new world order.

Yes, every generation faces a unique set of challenges.  This, however, does not mean that we cannot learn from past experiences.

The companies studied in Enduring Success survived the Great Depression, two World Wars, and the Oil Crisis.  They saw the advent of new technologies such as television, air travel, and the internet.  Their history may not provide immediate solutions for specific business’ problems—but it does provide profound insights into how companies can approach the challenges they face and which strategies can help them prevail.


© 2011 Christian Stadler