Tag Archives: Org culture

Are you suffering from the Boiling Frog syndrome?

The fact Blockbuster may file for bankruptcy protection ( http://ow.ly/1nxZH) was the impetus I needed to finally write this post.

I was introduced to the concept of Boiling Frog syndrome at a conference I attended in early March 2k10. The premise is that if a frog is placed in boiling water, it will jump out, but if it is placed in cold water that is slowly heated, it will not perceive the danger and will be cooked to death. For more details on the Boiling Frog syndrome, refer to this wiki link : http://ow.ly/1ny8y

While I am using this as a metaphor only, there are some useful analogies that can be drawn.

With Moore’s law incessantly driving increases in computing power, the rapid evolution & adoption of a real time web enabled/ mobile ecosystem is galvanizing, and coalescing around the human networks afforded by Twitter, FB, LI, Youtube, Myspace, blogs, and Location sharing apps (like Gowalla, Foursquare, Yelp, etc). Augmented reality, and instances of nanobots stopping your own neurons from firing in the brain, and firing their own to transport you into virtual reality is also, only a matter of time 🙂 Cloud computing will make things even more interesting, once they figure out privacy, security, and other legal issues that will surely multiply due to the impending “privacy by demand” scenario. The bottom-line : “time to react” has been exponentially reduced due to this accelerated rate of change.

Companies like Blockbuster, United Airlines,  and every other company/individual who is complacent enough to wait for others to make a move,  fail to look to the future, and is hesitant to lose apparent control of brand image, is essentially exhibiting the boiling frog syndrome, and will eventually die.

Survival in this constantly shifting, and evolving landscape will hinge on who is “most sensitive” to the environment, listens & learns, reacts quicker,  and more efficiently, while providing genuine value to consumers, customers, or employees. Failure is inevitable, it is how you react that will be the key discriminating variable.

For that, you will need processes, and policies in place that address Enterprise2.0, Web2.0, SMO, sCRM, Collaboration & other integration initiatives – the tools that let you design, and deliver the ultimate consumer experience. Somehow, it always boils (no pun intended) down to the  consumer experience.

That being said, all of the processes, and policies in the world will be for naught, unless the culture within companies become more inclusive, more participatory, more open, and more embracing of change.

I find it hard to believe that current systems can be adapted to address complex office dynamics, and cross-functional collaboration efforts, in this brave new world, without a change in mindset. That, definitely, is easier said than done.

What do you think? Which companies do you think are adapting to the new reality better? Would welcome your thoughts.