If we have learned anything in the last few years, it is that once admired companies can fall out of grace so precipitously that a bout of vertigo is virtually assured for anyone trying to track their trajectory. From iconic financial giants to revered automakers, the reason for failure has been consistent and unsurprising – the quest for profit through growth. As Toyota CEO Ashiro Toyoda summed it up recently: “We pursued growth over the speed at which we were able to develop our people and our organization, and we should sincerely be mindful of that.”

In fact, growth, however rapid, is not necessarily dangerous. The danger lies in the propensity of people to get complacent and dismiss the little things – safety, risk, quality, the letter of the law, ethics, repute – all the usual suspects that get in the way when the going is good.

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