Monday, February 14, 2011

This Guy Could've Been Talking About America!

Do you remember a scrappy Finnish company called Nokia? At one time, Nokia was a powerhouse in the world of mobile phones. They were masters of the so-called "candybar" design. But then another company we've all heard of -- Apple -- threw its hat into the ring with the iPhone, and Google stepped up with the Android system.
Over time, Nokia became a rapidly shrinking also-ran, to the point a 20-something could legitimately ask: "Do those guys even make phones anymore?"
But the company is still around, and its leaders refuse to go gently into that good night.
Stephen Elop, the CEO of Nokia, recently sent out a devastatingly candid memo to Nokia employees. It was immediately picked up and sent around because, under normal circumstances, you just don't see this kind of candor from executives at publicly traded corporations.
Here is the part that caught your humble editor's eye:
Hello there,
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.
Over the past few months, I've shared with you what I've heard from our shareholders, operators, developers, suppliers and from you. Today, I'm going to share what I've learned and what I have come to believe.
I have learned that we are standing on a burning platform.
And, we have more than one explosion -- we have multiple points of scorching heat that are fuelling a blazing fire around us.

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