Currie’s 2014 Client Reading List: Chaos Theory

2014 has been an extremely busy year so far.  In fact, words like “hectic” and “frenetic” have been used by some clients of Currie Management Consultants, Inc. to describe the speed of change in the distribution industry today.  Another descriptive word has emerged out of the exchanges—“Chaos”.

Chaos is defined as “a state of utter confusion” by Merriam-Webster.  The definition epitomizes an atmosphere of paralyzing uncertainty, and an exaggerated lack of clarity.  But conversation is needed about what happens during a period of chaos at an equipment dealership.  First, one must consider the basis of the disruption.

Economic growth, advancement of technology and a rapidly changing marketplace have contributed to the growth pattern seen across distribution industries of late. Add to that a consolidation pattern across the continent, and also individual diversification plans, and businesses are faced with a heightened level of ambiguity. The key to success becomes the principals’ ability to manage the conflict, tolerate the ambiguity and cope with the level of change. For those clients who have participated in the Leadership Development Program, remember the critical behaviors of High Performing Executives: Change Mastery, Interpersonal Finesse, Mental Agility and Goal Orientation.

Reflect for a moment on the last couple of years in the Currie Best Practices Groups.  Many, if not all of the meetings focused on themes of diversification, growth, consolidation, wealth-building strategies, and the like.  As distribution companies experienced these emerging patterns, they were able to face the challenges head on.  Now that we are seemingly in a state of “chaos”, the reading list reflects the abstruseness as well as the complexity, of the business of industrial equipment distribution today.

The evolution of the list is meant to demonstrate the long-term changes in the industry.  One past theme is sports and the leveraging of bench strength (talent).  Also, the theme of the 2013 list was military strategy as it applies to distribution, and the audacity that is required to participate in a changing, and challenging arena.  Now, in 2014, we present the theme of chaos.  The recommended book titles illustrate the numerous activities, and the “agility”, that is required to compete in the business world today.

Click to download the 2014 Client Reading List

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