Here’s a primer from How the Mighty Fall on the stages failing companies pass through.
- Stage 1 is hubris born of success. The company’s people become arrogant, regarding success as virtually an entitlement.
- Stage 2 is the undisciplined pursuit of more — more scale, more growth, more acclaim. Companies stray from the disciplined creativity that led them to greatness in the first place, making undisciplined leaps into areas where they cannot be great or growing faster than they can achieve with excellence, or both.
- Stage 3 is denial of risk and peril. Leaders of the company discount negative data, amplify positive data and put a positive spin on ambiguous data. Those in power start to blame external factors for setbacks rather than accept responsibility.
- Stage 4 is grasping for salvation. Common “saviors” include a charismatic visionary leader, a bold but untested strategy, a radical transformation, a “game changing” acquisition or any number of other silver-bullet solutions.
- Stage 5 is capitulation to irrelevance or death. Accumulative setbacks and expensive false starts erode financial strength and individual spirits to such an extent that leaders abandon all hope of building a great future. In some cases their leaders just sell out. In other cases the institution atrophies to utter insignificance.
Remind you of any large countries?
It’s not a spoof. It’s real.
This whole thing makes me sad. I was such a fan of David Letterman back in the 80′s. I time shifted his show and watched it religiously. He was hip, quick, and funny.
Not anymore. And CBS knows it.
I guess I owe the NY Times an apology from when I suggested they altered the Letterman transcript and failed to note it. Courtesy of Tim Blair, it seems that it was CBS itself that altered the transcript before it was released. They obviously knew it was problematic. Why haven’t they apologized as a network, at least to the Palins, for airing it?
Given that it was CBS, the only question that remains is, did they use a word processor, PC or an imitation of an old typewriter from Bush’s National Guard days to do it before they sent it out?
This makes me sad the way seeing an old friend go bats would. Like what happened with Ben Stein.
Credit where it’s due: NOW has added Letterman to its Media Hall of Shame. Of course, they manage to whine about what Rush Limbaugh said a decade or more ago:
On that point, it’s important to note that when Chelsea Clinton was 13 years old she was the target of numerous insults based on her appearance. Rush Limbaugh even referred to her as the “White House dog.” NOW hopes that all the conservatives who are fired up about sexism in the media lately will join us in calling out sexism when it is directed at women who aren’t professed conservatives.
I remind the gals at NOW that Rush got just as much criticism from the right as from the left for that joke. He also offered a sincere apology. The moral equivalency game really breaks down when you compare calling a kid ugly to making jokes about raping one.