What Businesses, Groups, and Professionals can do when Faced with Stagnation

What to do when Businesses and Professionals Stagnate

Stagnation can happen to anyone. Whether they are businesses, nations, societies, groups, or individuals, the prospect of withering away due to lack of growth or career mobility or opportunities can make even the most resilient of the institutions to atrophy and stagnate.

Indeed, the fact that there comes a time in everybody’s life be it businesses or professionals where growth stalls and the mental capacities and strategies simply do not work should serve as a reminder that no matter how successful they have been in the past, they do have to confront the inevitable fact of stagnation.

While the term Midlife Crisis is typically used to describe professionals who stagnate in their careers after 40 years of age, the term growth stalls are used to describe businesses that no matter how hard they try, they simply cannot conjure growth and expansion.

Stagnation is not Inevitable

So, does this mean that stagnation is inevitable and we cannot do anything about it? While the answer to this might be complex, the fact remains that rejuvenation and reinvention can certainly help the cause of anyone who faces stagnation.

Indeed, just like organizations and groups change leaders and CEOs (Chief Executive Officers) when growth stalls in the hope that fresh faces bring with them a new approach and a new perspective, professionals too can change jobs or start their own firms or ventures to overcome the blues, as the saying goes.

Apart from this, even students do stagnate sometimes during their education and this is where advice from mentors and seniors can help them to overcome the odds. Further, when nations stagnate, the result is usually that they elect new leaders in case of democracies or engage in revolutions and armed uprisings in case of autocracies.

Some Solutions to Stagnation

Having said that, it is also not the case that stagnation can be avoided by simply changing the leadership or jobs. Indeed, if the solution to stagnation were so simple, then all the failures in life and business would have done that every time they fail.

Instead, more often than not, the solution lies in within rather than in external environment and this is where resilience and motivation as well the inner drive comes into play.

In other words, stagnation can be overcome through finding the strength from within to persist and survive the odds as well as to motivate oneself to do more and to achieve more.

This is where the difference between great and extraordinarily great leaders and individuals comes into play wherein those with the ability to motivate them with inner drive thrive and succeed more than those who seek sustenance from external rewards.

In other words, those professionals and businesses who find strength from within often beat the odds and succeed when growth stalls.

How to Find One’s Mojo Again

The term used to describe the spirit that moves people and businesses to do more and keep themselves in the game is Mojo. Often, we come across this term in the context of those who need to find their feet and to leap into the unknown and soar above the rest.

Indeed, business leaders often talk about how they have found their Mojo again or the ability to find their bearings and zoom past the competition.

Likewise, the Maslow’s Theory of Motivation can be useful to consider when professionals who have achieved much but stagnate in their Midlife confront decisions regarding what to do next.

For instance, most successful professionals often need something beyond money and fame and this is where they need to look within and analyze what they want after a certain point in time and whether they are doing enough to satisfy their need for self-actualization.

More importantly, they need to ask themselves whether they are listening to their inner voice or whether they are simply going through the motions of life. They can then find out as to what they should do when they stare at a Midlife Crisis.

Some Practical Steps to Rejuvenation

Practically speaking, there are steps that businesses and professionals can do when they stagnate. While the former can organize retreats and brainstorming sessions where the leadership and the key influencers in them can get together and think about ways to grow and beat the odds, the latter can introspect and take some time off on vacations and other getaways where they can mull over their future.

Indeed, solitude and silence can yield the necessary solutions wherein businesses and their leadership can find the strength to bounce back, professionals can likewise find the inner rhythm and the inner peace necessary to find their spirit.

While this might seem to be spiritual advice, the fact that in our experience in the corporate world, we have seen that this works should serve as a reminder that real-world organizations and professionals alike can follow this advice.


Lastly, in life and business, it is not how many times one fails that defines oneself, but how many times one picks themselves up and overcomes the odds that count. Indeed, our view is that success is usually how much one uses failures as stepping stones to further success that matters.

Thus, in the final analysis, when faced with stagnation, it is usually a good idea to introspect on what matters and what one’s priorities in life are and then proceed according to such insights on where one wants to go next and what one wants from life. To conclude, stagnation need not be inevitable and rejuvenation and reinvention are indeed possible.

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