The biggest threat facing businesses today is not the economy, the digital revolution or the ever-tightening margins.
Simply put, no business can afford to think it has arrived. Every business-model is a work in progress. That’s because change is the new steady state, and that’s about the only thing that isn’t going to change.
All you have to do is look at the dwindling fortunes of RIM.
A mere 3 years ago, the Canadian tech giant stood astride a worldwide mobile phone empire. Now we have news that kindred spirit Yahoo, another former wunderkind of the digital era, has offered each of its employees a new smartphone of their choice – as long as it isn’t a Blackberry, which the Yahoo CEO dubbed “not a smartphone”.
Businesses that get comfortable with their position and the environment they operate in fail to see the threats coming, until it is much too late.
There’s a passage in Canadian author John Vaillant’s spellbinding book The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance and Survival, in which he describes hunters in a boat, emboldened by the distance and the water, taking potshots at a tiger on the shore. The infuriated animal leaps into the water, swims out to the boat, claws his way on board and annihilates his stunned tormentors.
You can’t get complacent out there.