Stochastic Shocks & Business Success Factors

Some events in this world are inherently unpredictable. While can hedge our bets against these events in an attempt to optimize our livelihood, sustainability, or survivability, the non-deterministic behavior of such events is a balancer of sorts – driving us to be on our toes, do good work, cherish our time, and value our lives.

In the business world, these events are often called “stochastic shocks” – events with non-deterministic behavior that affect some system, such as the economy, business growth, or personal well-being. While these do factor into business success, we can only control the risks associated with them and/or account for their potential occurrence with contingency plans and controlled reactions. We often cannot prevent them or even see them until the damage has already been realized.

Stochastic shocks aside, there are numerous controllable factors that directly contribute to the success of any business, corporation, or related organization. There must be 1,000,000,000,000,000 books and blog posts related to such “business success factors”, but through my professional experience I’d like define a few here.

Controllable Business Success Factors

  1. The Core – Feasibility, idea completeness, relevance
  2. Leadership – Personality, knowledge, network, approach
  3. Strategic Planning – Objectives, milestones, foresight
  4. Human Resources – Key performers, team dynamics, corporate culture
  5. Customer Base – Engagement, collaboration, feedback
  6. Market Space & Competition – Market research, competitor analysis, anticipation/reaction
  7. Extended Social Network – Partners, public engagement, connectedness
  8. Communication – Marketing/branding, value proposition, lexicon
  9. Growth & Sustainability Model – Targets, thresholds, reinvestment
  10. Corporate Posture – Adaptability, agility, dynamicity, transparency

In an effort to maximize understanding and applicability, I attempt to keep the above language and terminology as simple as possible. And while this list is neither comprehensive nor does it include evidence or examples, I’m quite sure both Google and Amazon will provide access to those 1,000,000,000,000,000 books and blog posts.

Ultimately, an optimal approach requires an organization to understand, evaluate, and measure both the stochastic shocks with non-deterministic behaviors as well as the controllable business success factors simultaneously. Understanding both sides can ensure survivability in a tumultuous world, balancing one versus the other given the available resources to do so.

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