If you want a case study of what happens when established companies decide they are going to get hip to the future, take a look at what’s happened in media.
Traditional newspapers ignored the internet for too long, and when the readership base began fleeing to Facebook and Twitter, they didn’t know how to react. Many veteran journalists found themselves hosting Periscope videos on Twitter, Snapchatting at news conferences and hosting podcasts — in other words, doing too much with too little. Most media companies still are scrambling to find the right digital strategy and are bleeding jobs and profits in the process.
Last week’s announcement that Ford was ousting Mark Fields and naming Jim Hackett, formerly of furniture company Steelcase and interim athletic director at the University of Michigan, as CEO feels eerily similar to the scenes that played out in media over the past decade. Fields had done a more than competent job. Oddly, no one had a negative word to say about him or his strategy after announcing his forced retirement.