The Case Against Agility
Leadership has always required the willingness to move in directions that peers avoid
Leadership has always required the willingness to move in directions that peers avoid. Great leaders have the ability to convince, or induce, others to follow. Apple Inc. cofounder Steve Jobs, for instance, stared down the derision of analysts and peers when he first opened Apple retail stores. Those outlets attracted millions of consumers who were new to the brand, and have achieved the highest retail sales rates ($5,546 per square foot in 2016) of any retail brand. Microsoft and Sony followed Apple’s lead with brand-specific technology retail stores.
Leaders today face a particularly consequential need to question conventional wisdom. They must wean their companies away from three ideas that have anchored technological decision-making for over a decade, but which have become dangerous for our current age. Making this shift will be difficult because the costs will be immediately apparent, while the benefits may not come for years.