Ecolab has business lessons for all types of companies

While advising clients on a range of business issues, it is almost universally helpful to study other companies.  Most of the time I will highlight one or more companies during the presentation itself to build a case for a certain strategy, highlight challenges that another company faced in a similar situation, or warn about following a certain strategy because it did not work out so well.

Obviously, the closer the example is to client's business, the better it is to make the argument.  It also addresses the doubts of those in the conference room who do not fail to point out the industry of the example is so different than theirs.  I, on the other hand, believe that there is no reason to get too hung up on the industry, market, product, or technology, because there are so many similarities in business.  And because I have experience across multiple sectors, it is useful to borrow from other industries.

One company that I have repeatedly used as an excellent is Ecolab, Inc.  There really is nothing bad to say about this company and there is something that every business decision-maker can learn from them.  This is the slide deck I often use with my clients.