Leaders need to pay attention to paying attention

Today's leaders require greater complexity of thought to adapt to change

The heritage UK travel company Thomas Cook, a master of package tours with a history of almost 200 years, has collapsed. The Internet took its toll. Offering travellers the classic range of services - arranging holiday tours, hotels, airlines, insurance and other travel-related services - came with a high cost structure, and eventually led to its downfall.

The old business model, based on a static value proposition led by a reactive set of leaders who were late in recognising the changes in customer needs and behaviours, finally crumbled in the face of mounting debts and lack of cash flow.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on November 10, 2019, with the headline 'Leaders need to pay attention to paying attention'. Print Edition | Subscribe