Here’s a clip for you to watch; it’s from an event I spoke at a few weeks ago in San Diego. It speaks for itself.
Often, when I am speaking about innovation, I will bring up this concept of a #MOTOFail.
Essentially, don’t be Motorola. Don’t dare to presume that what you have done in the past will define your success into the future.
Such thinking is all too common. Over the years, while ‘ve seen many success stories within my global Fortuen 500 client list, I’ve also seen many failures. For example, I spent time with Nortel, DaimlerChrysler, Research In Motion/Blackberry and others over 15 years ago. Each involves a story of hubris and failure.
A good example: during a strategy meeting with a top leadership team at DaimlerChrylser in 2004, I suggested that they might want to keep an eye on the concept of a “GoogleCar” – a scenario in which Google might decide to become a car company.
Essentially, I gave them a scenario in which a hi-tech company could become a new competitor, redefining the dynamics of the industry – a shift of the automotive industry in which Silicon Valley would define the speed of change. In that way, I predicted the emergence of Tesla, which today is pretty much setting the pace in the self-driving, EV category.
What did they do? I think some of them thought I was an idiot, based on some of the feedback. Oops! Today? I’ve been proven right, and I know those folks are long gone from the organization. The merger of Chrysler and Mercedes? It failed.
Motorola? I suggested they not concentrate on the success of the Razr phone, but instead worry about the potential for disruptors such as Apple to redefine their industry. Oops! Research in Motion? Maybe one day, people might used phones without physical keyboards. Oops!
History is littered with the wreckage of organizations that did not step up to the plate of the speed of future trends, and who have failed to adapt to fast paced market change.
What happens to organizations like these? Why do things go wrong? There’s a long list of the reasons for failure:
- a belief in their ‘incumbency’ – they’ve been successful for so long they do not fear any threat!
- the invincibility syndrome – nothing will every come along that might challenge their success!
- arrogance and hubris, particularly at the CEO level – they simply have everything right with their formula! (They don’t)
- a culture that does not promote shared goals, and in which each and every division is in it for themselves – promoting massive dysfunction and missed collective opportunity
- a failure to realize and adapt to the pace of change – simply put, they are structured for slow in the era of fast!
- an inability to recognize their competitors are moving faster than they are – they don’t like to acknowledge their competitors success
- an inability to confront the truth of what they see out in the world around them – denial runs rampant!
- an inadequate trends radar: they simply miss the signs of what is coming next!
The list goes on. So your task today?
Don’t be a #Motofail! Recognize the symptoms, and guard against them!