Ever heard of Kodak? Or you probably had a historic Kodak moment that was captured on film? It was the company who pioneered camera film rolls and the first digital camera. They ruled for over a century, where their films were even used in the Apollo space missions. Fast forward to the next century, due to the digital age Kodak stopped selling film cameras in 2004, they knew that things had to change and they quickly switched gears to digital cameras. But a couple of years later, things started to go downhill to the point where they filed for bankruptcy in 2012.
So what went wrong? They dominated for 100 years, they adapted to the new age, and yet, it failed.
Ever heard of the saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. You have that certain level of complacency that things will be ok since you have been successful with how you do things traditionally or within the norm, that there is really no need to change the way things are or how it is done. You live in that state where you are in a bubble and inside you feel confident that you are protected, but outside, you have forces that can easily burst your domain and everything falls apart. But if you live outside that bubble, you are free to roam and do greater things.
We always say to ourselves there is room for improvement, we need to get outside of our comfort zone. But do we actually give space for it? Do we actually step out?
Nowadays you have to really be open to anything and be able to adapt by leaps and bounds. How I wish it was as easy as Keanu Reeves’ character in the movie The Matrix, where you can learn Kung-Fu in a matter of seconds. You can’t be stuck with “I’m sorry, this is what I only know”. Wouldn’t it be better if you could say, “Hold on, I will learn how to do it”.
Kodak had it going, but they were not doing it at the speed that was in pace with the innovative world we live in. They probably foresaw what was coming and yet they did not act on it immediately, thinking that they were a giant in this world and it would take a lot to take them down. But then again Goliath was dropped with a single stone, and the bigger they are, the harder they fall. So we shouldn’t sit back and wait to see if others act on things, the moment we see a potential risk, we need to quickly assess it and do what is necessary to avoid an epic downfall.
Heraclitus, a Greek philosopher quoted, “The only thing that is constant is change.” Everything around us changes every day. Especially in my line of work I always say that each day is a new day since I encounter something different, an out of the ordinary situation that keeps me thinking constantly of solutions on how to deal with these dilemmas. And the moment you stop, either you get caught off guard or get too far behind to ever catch up on things. So we better start learning how to eat change for breakfast.
The Norm is a lost land. And you would not want to get stuck in it. Let’s admit that there is part in us that is old fashioned and is at ease when staying within that comfort zone. That we may not need to change our ways in our lifetime if things are ok. But then why settle for ok, when you can do better, and you can do more.