Opinion

Jack and Suzy Welch

Today vs. GMA: What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger

Jack and Suzy Welch
Apr 27, 2012 12:06 UTC

Pick any hot topic over the past decade or two – tax policy, Social Security, nuclear power, American Idol, you name it – and if you put a dozen people in a room, you’d get a cacophony of opinions.

But ask those same people, “So, what morning show do you watch?” and you’d just as likely get one big chorus back, saying, “Today, of course!”

The Today Show’s ratings domination is legendary.

Actually, make that “was” legendary. During the week of Apr. 9, the program drew 13,000 fewer viewers than its longtime (and formerly distant) rival Good Morning America. The loss, as was so gaspingly reported, broke Today’s epic 852-week winning streak.

To which we say, “What a lucky break!”

No – not for GMA, but for Today, because its loss means something very exciting is about to happen. The show is about to start experiencing business as it should always be experienced by every organization: as if each and every day were the last quarter of the Super Bowl.

Gordon Gekko famously proclaimed greed to be the central tenet of business. What tripe. The real, galvanizing truism about business is that competition is good. In fact, it’s great.

Mitt Romney’s Kodak moment

Jack and Suzy Welch
Feb 3, 2012 13:00 UTC

If there’s one concept we preach that everyone seems to agree on it’s the following: You have to face reality the way it is, not the way you want it to be.

True, right?

So why is it that so many organizations do the exact opposite? Why do they think technology will evolve at a manageable pace or that a competitor’s products will never be able to capture the hearts of their customers? Why do they say things like, “Prices will hold because costs are as rock-bottom as they’ll ever be,” or buy into notions like, “We can’t go any faster and maintain our quality”?

Such questions are rhetorical, of course. People don’t face reality the way it is because, well, because they’re people. Change – especially change that will require upending “how things are done around here” – can make us cranky, dismissive, mocking or all of the above.

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