:: How the Mighty Fall ::
I am halfway through reading this brilliant book by
Jim Collins, the bestselling author of Good to Great.
Jim is an exceptional author, who illustrates his concepts
And ideas with great storytelling. Using companies that were mentioned
In his earlier books Good to Great and Built to Last, he explained how
Some companies, even after decades of good growth and momentum
Can move through Stage 1 and Stage 2 in the undisciplined pursuit
Of more. In fact, the demise of Borders resonated with me, as yet another
Giant fades into oblivion, and new industries spring forth to compete.
I have an interesting conjecture - is technology the biggest culprit?
Our generation is marked by the biggest technological leap, and
In just a decade, we have seen many brick and mortar industries
Falling to technology. I think Kodax, Fuji, and the traditional film
And print industries, as well as HMV, Virgin and the music stores.
Now it is Borders. Next, Kinokuniya, MPH? Who else is in the queue?
Jim used an interesting metaphor - his (then) ailing wife.
"On a cloudless August day in 2002, my wife, Joanne, and I
Set out to run the long uphill haul to Electric Pass, outside Aspen,
Colorado, which starts at an altitude of about 9,800 feet. At about
11,000 feet, I capitulated to the thin air and slowed to a walk, while Joanne
Continued her uphill assault. As I emerged from the tree line, where thin air
Limits vegetation to scruffy shrubs, I spotted her far ahead in a bright-red
Two months later, she received a diagnosis that would lead to two
Mastectomies. I realised, in retrospect, that at the very moment
She looked like the picture of health pounding her way up the
Electric Pass, she must already been carry the carcinoma. That image
Of Joanne, looking healthy yet already sick, stuck in my min
And gave me a metaphor -
I've come to see institutional decline like a staged disease;
Harder to detect but easier to cure in the early stages,
Easier to detect but harder to cure in the later stages.
An institution can look strong on the outside but already
Be sick on the inside, dangerously on the cusp of a
Precipitous fall. "
I have this idea to share this book
With my big boss.