Apple’s announcement, that it is closing Ping, is attracting much attention. In some of the reactions, one senses an aura of Schadenfreude, some unspoken yet tangible satisfaction that Apple did not prevail in this initiative.
Smart Change is Not a Mistake
CEO Tim Cook was forthright: “We tried Ping, and I think the customer voted and said ‘This isn’t something that I want to put a lot of energy into.’”
Appropriately, he was not penitent.
How many individuals stick for too long with a failed or sub-par approach? So often, it’s a self-serving mindset: they come to view change as a mistake. Thus, even correcting what is, objectively, a mistake, is distorted into a disabling disappointment, an admission of error to be avoided.
Such confusion sets the table for serious error.
This can be magnified in large organizations; it can be a mark of fatal incumbency. Forces favoring the status quo temporarily obscure the voices of the stakeholders they are supposedly serving.
Today, it’s especially pronounced in government. Public officials are criticized mercilessly if they acknowledge a mistake, a need for mid-course correction. Reasonable adaptation is ridiculed or condemned. Thus they tend to hold fast to courses of action that simply don’t make sense. Throw in a dollop of sunk costs–even lives lost–and you have the ingredients of wholesale dysfunction.
Apple Joins Forces With Facebook
Whatever challenges Facebook and Apple have had in their past interactions, it appears that they’re on a smart track for the time being.
And, in not becoming wed to an approach that was not optimal, Apple sent messages to all stakeholders that they’re focused on the future, on serving others effectively.
The wisdom and value created from adapting in a smart way, even to acknowledging a “mistake,” so far overshadow the “mistake,” that it would be a mistake to call it a “mistake.”
It’s smart, tough, nimble 21st century leadership.
Apple Ping Shuttered | Smart Change Not Mistake