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Kodak: The Risk of Not Innovating


Kodak Camera

We often talk about the risk of innovating, but what about the risk of NOT innovating?


If we don’t innovate, choosing to do business as usual in a fast-paced and ever-changing world, will likely leave your organization behind.


Take Kodak for example.


How did a company that pioneered consumer photography and had 90 percent of the film market in the 20th century, end up filing for bankruptcy by 2012?


With the advent of digital photography, Kodak failed to innovate and chose to suppress its technology out of fear of losing profit.


Kodak resisted change.


Innovation drives the future for businesses and maintaining the status quo in an environment that changes is not sustainable. It is like running a marathon at the same pace as the best athlete of 100 years ago and believing you can win (If you are curious, Johnny Hayes won the London Marathon in 1908 in 2 hours and 55 minutes while Eliud Kipchoge won the Berlin Marathon in 2022 in 2 hours and 1 minute).


By not innovating, a business or an organization is likely to fall behind competitors and not serve the changing needs of its users.


So next time there is a discussion about risk, you may want to refocus the discussion on the risk of not innovating!


Curious to learn more? In my book, “Fire Up Innovation:Creating and Sustaining Innovation Teams", I share more examples of the risk of not innovating and how to reframe this issue.

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