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The Crazy Cost of Complacency

A Business Lesson Learned from Kodak

Did you know that just 33% of the US workforce truly love their jobs, and are fulfilled, happy, and engaged at work? Imagine having a dozen, a 100, or 500 employees and knowing that the other two thirds are mentally checked out. They’re basically made up of people that are either doing the bare minimum to get by- not really learning anything, not really contributing anything, and those that are completely miserable at work and ready to walk out the door with the cash register open.


Complacency is costly. It is time for radical change and massive action.

Don’t Be Like Kodak.

Kodak at one time was the market leader in photography and film, positioned to be the pioneer of the future. They created the digital camera technology yet misunderstood the ways that consumers wanted to interact with their photos. They were soon wiped out by competitors who innovated on their pioneering products and filled the niche that Kodak created yet failed to capitalize on.

In many aspects, ignoring the signs of what was happening in the marketplace are what lead to the downfall of Kodak. As leaders, it is vital to pay attention to the signs and not just get comfortable doing what you have always done when the marketplace you are operating in has changed. Many businesses today are operating like Kodak, not realizing the cost to their business of not rolling with the times. Today, they are not taking the time to understand the changing needs of the workforce, particularly those of millennials, who now comprise of nearly 50% of the workforce.


The time is ripe for a culture change.

Here are three best practices to embrace to get the ball rolling:

  1. Give people opportunities to learn and grow in their role. Offering personal and professional training is critical at this time.
  2. Shift from a culture of “pay-check and perks” to a culture of “purpose.”
  3. Focus on where you as a company are heading in the future, not what was working in the past. Being innovation focused has got to be part of your day to day operations in order to survive.

Business is changing rapidly. If you’re not adjusting to the needs of your people by offering training that engages their hearts, expands their minds, and feeds their soul, they won’t be inspired and they’ll eventually leave to work for companies that do.

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