There is a law called the law of Entropy, it’s one of the crazy, complicated scientific laws that was actually taught to me when I was a young man in Santiago, Chile in south america. During that time 18 years ago I learned from one of my mentors, a great man by the name of David Christensen that this law could be simplified to the fact that matter is in a constant flux, in other words it is always moving one away, seemingly either progressing towards accomplishment and progress or uncontrollably deviating from its course and going backwards, in other words not progressing.
In life we often times feel like we are maintaining the status quo, seemingly not really making any notable progress, but also we feel like we are not decreasing our success, but are rather simply continuing the same, constant route. The law of entropy teaches us that the truth is not so simple. We may actually believe that we are indeed continuing without any significant progress or retraction either way, but in reality when we begin to try and maintain the status quo without growing and improving ourselves, our businesses, our families or whatever truly matters in our lives, then we are actually moving backwards. We are actually not only not moving closer to securing our goals, ambitions and dreams, but in essence we are slowly without noticing decelerating and falling backwards from our goals and dreams that before we were so affixed with.
Let’s look at this phenomena in business, there have been many large and successful companies who to put it mildly, stopped innovating and creating new progress and growth and began to rest on their laurels so to speak. The minute that they began to do this, immediately their strength and position in the market began to deteriorate and the unfortunate lack of upward movement eventually led to their downfall. Let’s look at the examples of Kmart and Sears. For years, both of these behemoths dominated retail trade and sales and then slowly because they stopped pushing, growing and developing innovative solutions to their stores, products and services they simply tried to maintain their status quo. Over time their strength and position began to be taken away by more innovative companies like Walmart, Costco and Target. These innovative stores with lower priced, higher quality products slowly ate up the profit margins and sales of Kmart and Sears and then when Home Depot and Lowes came to play, these two heralded companies began to descent into nothingness. Before long, soon they had to close a significant amount of stores and in 2003 Kmart went bankrupt and then merged with Sears. The merger was hardly a long term solution and years later, suppliers of both Sears and Kmart believe it is only a matter of time before insolvency sinks them both permanently.
In the meantime, let’s take a look at how this concept of Entropy can be harnessed for positive business growth. Walmart has taken the world by storm the last 50+ years as their innovative store structure, lower prices and smaller populated store locations have revolutionized the retail industry not only in the US, but also in South America, Asia and Europe. The fact that Walmart continued to take massive action towards innovative products, super stores with both groceries and everyday necessities, as well as expand outside of the US to other countries is proof of their constant effort to grow and improve. They have endeavored to avoid complacency as they have also established a decent online presence. The result is that due to their daily, weekly, monthly and yearly focus at constant improvement and never sitting back on their laurels and the status quo of their dominance has positioned them for long term growth and stability. That said, they had better focus on their online presence or Amazon may do to them what they did to Kmart, but the bottom line is that the law of Entropy can be key to your long term business success as you strive to improve day after day in your business and life.