In the past few years, a number of well-known firms have failed; think of Blockbuster, Kodak, or RadioShack. When we hear about their demise, it often seems inevitable - a natural part of "creative destruction." But closer examination reveals a disturbing truth: Companies large and small are shuttering more quickly than ever. What does it take to buck this trend? The simple answer is: ambidexterity. Firms must remain competitive in their core markets, while also winning in new domains.
Jack Welch once claimed that great leaders are "relentless and boring." Management thinkers largely agree: Good leaders, so the narrative goes, are consistent in their decision making, stick to their commitments, and remain on-message. The trouble is, much as we may value consistency in our leaders, we don’t live in a world that rewards it - at least not in the long term.