Sadly, the once giant and highly profitable Eastman Kodak Company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection this morning.
This could have been avoided if the company's leadership decided to mold their storied brand to the evolving market, but they chose instead to bury their collective heads in the sand. The result of their failure to act is a tragedy for the employees and all those who have invested in this once proud company.
Seth Godin shared this and more about the event today:
"Just about all the people who lost their jobs in Rochester meant well and worked hard and did their jobs well. They need to blame the senior management of Kodak, the ones who were afraid of the future and hoped it would go away. There are more pictures being taken more often by more people than ever before–Kodak leadership couldn’t deal with their overhang and was so in love with their success that they insisted the world change in their favor, as opposed to embracing the future that was sure to arrive."
Read this in context at The Domino Project...
Kodak built and tried to sustain an unsustainable infrastructure based on its film business, which has been plummeting to obscurity for years now. Even the most casual observer noticed this, but those whose duty it was to recognize and compensate for the obvious trends either failed to notice or failed to act. Either way, they failed. That failure is as inexcusable as it was preventable.
This is a real-life event that should act as a warning to each of us.
What preventable tragedy is in your future if you remain on your current course?
If you don't see an iceberg in your path, then ask a few of your trusted observers if they see any obstacles that you've missed.
In any event, if you see a disaster on the horizon, then do something about it NOW. Don't ignore it or act as though it is inevitable.
Change your course and do the right thing.
Embrace the future!