By far, this blog post has been the hardest to write. To start, I went back to Jim Collins to see what he had to say on the subject. This tenant is one of the most complex in the Good To Great thinking.
“Put another way, the most enduring and successful corporations distinguish their timeless core values and enduring core purpose (which should never change) from their operating practices and business strategies (which should be changing constantly in response to a changing world).”
To clarify what Kodak’s mission is, I looked in the history section of their website. I found this very clear message “make photography simpler, more useful and more enjoyable”.
Kodak has managed to preserve the core of their business, while undergoing technological changes. As the film industry continues to wither into nothingness, Kodak has jumped into the digital camera world. They have also extended into the online world with websites like Kodak Gallery that lets you print and share photo.
They have even forge relationship with local drug stores including CVS to you can order online and pick them up in the store. That is a model being used by several online e-commerce leaders.
What I have realized in searching for these stories is that there are more stories about companies that have ‘lost their way’ than about companies who got it right. There are a lot of companies that are just a flash in the technical pan.
In a hyperfinicky marketplace, technology companies need to stay on their toes, but they still need to keep their eye on the same spot of the horizon and keep moving toward it – no matter how far off it might seem.