Two news stories recently remind us how easy it is to fall into a comfort zone, patiently waiting to get run over.
Tom and Louis Borders started Borders bookstores in 1971, and just kept opening new bookstores. They had over 1200 of them by 2006, and they were still opening more. In the mid-1990’s the internet emerged and it quickly became clear that it was the superior way to learn about a book and order it. Then e-readers came along, further changing the book acquisition landscape. Borders ignored all of this and got run over. They have just filed bankruptcy.
Nokia, the cell phone leader, also seemed to ignore the internet and what it could mean to their industry. Blackberry started the smartphone revolution and the iPhone and now Android are making it clear that cellphones are very yesterday! Nokia recently hired a new CEO and he has announced a deal with Microsoft to try to become a serious smartrphone player. It may be too little too late.
Why don’t leaders constantly face reality and make the tough decisions? Fear of change? Arrogance generated by success? Pressure from the troops who fear that change will impact them?
Tell us what you think the reasons are.