In a letter to Nokia employees their CEO, Stephen Elop, wrote:
There is a pertinent story about a man who was working on an oil platform in the North Sea. He woke up one night from a loud explosion, which suddenly set his entire oil platform on fire. In mere moments, he was surrounded by flames. Through the smoke and heat, he barely made his way out of the chaos to the platform's edge. When he looked down over the edge, all he could see were the dark, cold, foreboding Atlantic waters.
As the fire approached him, the man had mere seconds to react. He could stand on the platform, and inevitably be consumed by the burning flames. Or, he could plunge 30 meters in to the freezing waters. The man was standing upon a "burning platform," and he needed to make a choice.
He decided to jump. It was unexpected. In ordinary circumstances, the man would never consider plunging into icy waters. But these were not ordinary times – his platform was on fire. The man survived the fall and the waters. After he was rescued, he noted that a "burning platform" caused a radical change in his behaviour.
We too, are standing on a "burning platform," and we must decide how we are going to change our behaviour.
Read the full letter at brandrepublic.
A great picture - but not telling the whole truth. Nokia is standing on that burning platform ever since Apple introduced (not launched) their first iPhone (which was the 'loud explosion').
Everybody around the world could have (I don't say anybody did to that detail) imagined what that could mean to the good old telephone manufacturers living more or less successfully in their ivory towers masked as established and grown lazy corporate headquarters enjoying their bonusses and past successes - everybody except themselves.
A typical and ubiquitous leadership problem: managers hope, and wait, and fear - until it is too late. And then they wake up from their long, long Sleeping Beauty sleep and have to realize the platform is burning.
It has been burning for years, and management could have known, had they listened to constructive criticism from co-workers, to the beginner's mind of outsiders, to customer's new individuality, independence, and impatience!
Not every market is that lucky to get to hear 'loud explosions' of its business models. They just grow obsolete, because nobody from the board really cares.
That is the fine art of leadership: to know what is happening, what will happen, how to anticipate the future, how to even create it - instead of having to be woken up. Because if you have to be woken up, you have been asleep before (plain logic).
(What you may do against that? Easy:
01 - Awake!
02 - Grow!
03 - Inspire (the Next)!
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