What is the Icarus Factor?

In business, the Icarus factor describes what happens when companies become overly dedicated or overly enthusiastic about a project or initiative, and that enthusiasm and dedication becomes a detriment to the company.

How Does the Icarus Factor Work?

Icarus is a Greek mythological character who obtained a pair of wings made from wax and feathers. Excited about flying, Icarus soared through the skies, going higher and higher. Icarus got so high, in fact, that the sun melted the wax wings and he fell to the ground and died.

Why Does the Icarus Factor Matter?

Companies are always trying to stay ahead of the competition by investing in new ideas, new processes, and new materials. This is all well and good, but when a company's management becomes so blindly focused on an ambitious goal, that focus often causes them to overlook or avoid dealing with fundamental problems either with the project or in other parts of the business.