Tom Curtin Cartoon Complacency 14 August

The crisis in complacency

August 14th, 2023

Your company has never been doing better. Your forward growth plan is at least 25 per cent for at least the next five years. Well that’s what your team of MBA interns are telling you.

You’ve upgraded the private jet and the new super yacht is well under construction in Amsterdam (bigger than Bezos) and the offer for the 75-acre mansion in the Hamptons mega-estate has been accepted. More good news: the lawyers are getting a good deal on that divorce. Svetlana is delighted. получивший удовольствие

Relax. All is well. Your executive team are well rewarded – they’re locked in. What could go wrong?

The problem with looking forward is forgetting to look in the rear-view mirror.

Blackberry led the world in mobile phones – it was growing, it was hiring. So was Nokia – a Finnish timber company.

What could go wrong? Apple. That’s what.

IBM weren’t stupid. No one ever got fired for hiring IBM. They looked in the rear-view mirror and said: ‘this is easy – all we need is a few microchips and some software’. Now we have Intel and Microsoft.


When you’re doing well do not expect to keep doing well. Go for growth, sure, but look out for what’s right behind you.

Success breeds success but it also breeds complacency. And that’s a dangerous disease.

Be careful out there.

Have a good week.


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