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Success Thru Proven Business Principles

The Clifton Review 


The Clifton Review is a tri-weekly column that examines the question of the Clifton project along with the evolution of the war between two billionaires. We covered the start of this war with articles describing the battle over easement rights, the mysterious burning of a home, the blocks to rebuilding, and countless questionable court filings.


While the 2018 series salutes fashion mogul Peter Nygård’s Golden Jubilee detailing his rags to riches story, his incredible business success over these past fifty years and an inside look at how he did it, The Clifton Review will also continue to address current affairs as they relate to the good of The Bahamas.


Success Thru Proven Business Principles


By P.J. Malone


It is fascinating to think how certain life experiences as a kid can shape who we become and the goals we strive for.


The struggle to survive financially that marked the beginning of fashion mogul Peter Nygard’s experience in North America shaped his thinking about life.


In business, there was a need to always push to ensure financial survival, especially in the midst of many others that failed. Even while that fate befell those garment businesses around him, it was not an end result that Peter Nygård would ever allow to happen in his own business. His parents had not failed and he did not intend to either.


One executive said of Nygård that in their business, the tougher it got for them, the tougher Nygård got at resolving it, and he often excelled most in times of difficulty. Once again, it’s that ‘sisu’ spirit at work.


If you observe Peter Nygård’s core characteristics and belief system that form his nucleus, you can see that no matter what career direction he decided to go in, he would have quickly ascended the ladder to its pinnacle.


He did at the age of seventeen when he was the youngest relieving store manager the Canadian Loblaw stores ever had. He also did it when he had risen at Eaton’s of Canada — a distinguished department store in Canada in the 1960s and on. Nygard had moved up the ranks to become head of a division of heavy goods stores at the age of twenty-five. And of course, he took Tan Jay-NYGARD to unimaginable heights from the very beginning.


Social scientists and organization development practitioners will tell you that Nygård’s business operations had very specific and important elements that, taken together, were so much more impactful than the sum of its parts, which skyrocketed the business to success.


For many business leaders, Nygård’s successful elements are all formalised processes they all try to emulate. For Nygård, it wasn’t about trying to implement theory. It was simply an intuitive recognition of how best to run his business.


He had a foundational advantage that would always serve him well. His belief system and characteristics led him to develop his business based on known business principles of success whether consciously or not. The following are the principles at work in his business and the outcomes they produced:


  • His belief that nothing is impossible resulted in him always using a solution-oriented approach.


  • His perfectionism led to working to align all of the various parts of the organization.


  • His competitive nature drove him towards perpetual continuous improvement within the organization.


  • His strategic thinking ability led to the practice of systems theory.


  • His intuitive nature led to him maintaining an agile business.


Each of these business approaches is significant in and of themselves. Many businesses attempt one or several approaches to organisational efficiency, effectiveness and excellence. For Peter Nygård, he employed them all.


A tall order? Not for an individual who has the foundation Nygard has, who wants to be the best at what he does, and who has the drive and willingness to work the sixteen-hour days it may take.


Written by Jones Bahamas

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