How the Mighty Fall

If I was a RIM shareholder, I'd be doing some serious thinking about the health of the organization. But then, as a stakeholder in any company or organization, I should continuously think about the health of my company.

Size doesn't matter if you are heading toward oblivion, it just gets you more press coverage as you slide down the slippery slope.

Is there hope for RIM? (and/or your organization?)

Yes!  (Unless you are at Stage 5 - but I'll explain)

While there may not be an app for that, there is an exceptional book available.

Warning!  Reading this book may very well cause insomnia.  I've given several copies away, and it had a similar effect on everyone who read it.

The book, by Jim Collins, the same author that inspired us with "Good to Great - Why Some Companies Make the Leap... and Others Don't" published a corollary book in 2009 - How the Mighty Fall: And Why Some Companies Never Give In. If this book doesn't cause some serious thinking and organizational reflection,  it means you didn't really read it, but stuck it on your bookshelf to show people how well read you are.

Let me quote from Amazon.Ca's website description:
Decline can be avoided.
Decline can be detected.
Decline can be reversed.
Amidst the desolate landscape of fallen great companies, Jim Collins began to wonder: How do the mighty fall? Can decline be detected early and avoided? How far can a company fall before the path toward doom becomes inevitable and unshakable? How can companies reverse course?
In How the Mighty Fall, Collins confronts these questions, offering leaders the well-founded hope that they can learn how to stave off decline and, if they find themselves falling, reverse their course. Collins' research project—more than four years in duration—uncovered five step-wise stages of decline:
Stage 1: Hubris Born of Success
Stage 2: Undisciplined Pursuit of More
Stage 3: Denial of Risk and Peril
Stage 4: Grasping for Salvation
Stage 5: Capitulation to Irrelevance or Death
By understanding these stages of decline, leaders can substantially reduce their chances of falling all the way to the bottom.
Great companies can stumble, badly, and recover.
Every institution, no matter how great, is vulnerable to decline. There is no law of nature that the most powerful will inevitably remain at the top. Anyone can fall and most eventually do. But, as Collins' research emphasizes, some companies do indeed recover—in some cases, coming back even stronger—even after having crashed into the depths of Stage 4.
Decline, it turns out, is largely self-inflicted, and the path to recovery lies largely within our own hands. We are not imprisoned by our circumstances, our history, or even our staggering defeats along the way. As long as we never get entirely knocked out of the game, hope always remains. The mighty can fall, but they can often rise again.

If you own RIM stock, or are a RIM executive, this book should be on your night table. You probably aren't sleeping anyway.


Post a Comment