Why Organisations Fail – Do We Know The Signs and Can We Read Them?

3 June 2020

12.30 – 18.30

Haberdashers’ Hall

Why do companies fail? What is it that makes a successful business go from hero to zero in such a short space of time? Of course, businesses disappear – as their business models become no longer relevant. It’s part of the natural process of renewal and innovation. Yet what still surprises us is the speed at which some outwardly successful businesses suddenly collapse. A quarter of a century’s corporate governance reform seems to have made little difference. The shock of corporate catastrophes like Thomas Cook, Patisserie Valerie and Carillion still make headlines.

As we go into what The FT described as a period of synchronised stagnation, trading conditions for many businesses will become more difficult. More companies will come under pressure and more will be at risk of failure. There are some factors about which we can do nothing and others over which we have greater control, yet very often we don’t manage these as well as we might. The reasons are many and varied, ranging from dishonesty, incompetence and managerial hubris to lack of basic strategic and operational expertise or straightforward financial control. Whilst we might think ‘it could never happen to us’, all too often it does!

Chaired by Margaret Heffernan, author of Wilful Blindness, this PARC half-day conference aims to:
• Provide a warning as to what happens when important management disciplines are not followed.
• Help people to recognise early warning signs and anticipate threats to the business before they become critical.
• Create a learning opportunity to give us the benefit of profiting from the mistakes of others.

Our panel of speakers will provide insights from their fields of expertise helping us to:
• Spot the signs of impending trouble.
• Improve our corporate decision-making.
• Optimise our processes and project management skills.
• Understand the legal framework in which businesses operate.