Posted by Mike Rollings
In the article "Sony Pictures CEO hates the Internet" Dave Rosenberg reports that Sony Pictures Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton stated "I'm a guy who doesn't see anything good having come from the Internet." He concludes that instead of embracing new technologies and delivery methods, Sony chooses to stick to the old, now failing ways, as evidenced by the company's recent $1 billion loss.
As I discuss in the Burton Group Perspective document "Real Transformation: Why IT Change Is Not Enough" this is an example of a phantom in the form of an assumption: “We cannot do that because..." The brain is the master of phantoms. Once you begin looking at the world a certain way, you begin to see everything through that lens. These are the same mechanisms that allow the brain to manufacture the feelings associated with a phantom arm. Yet the fact that the lens itself exists is never examined.
Phantoms prevent the emergence of new conversations while hindering responsiveness and progress. I wonder how long Mr. Lynton carried this notion around with him? I wonder how many ideas were dismissed by his automatic filter called "nothing good comes from the Internet"? What would be the result if his filter was "What can Sony reap by embracing the Internet"?
Exorcise your phantoms! Assumptions, feelings of futility, and other phantoms reinforce status quo and are roadblocks to transformative discussions. Stagnation - the lack of innovation and agility - happens when you become married to your phantoms.