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Here's Why You Should Never Be Afraid to Fire Someone Resistant to Change...

Check out the chart below as Exhibit A:


Change and taking risks is difficult. Of course, if you don't have the right number of people in your organization who are comfortable asking "what's next", it's going to catch up with you.

Raise your hand if you thought in 2001 that AOL's sub base would decline by 90%.  Anyone?

They didn't think so either.  They undoubtedly had opportunities in hundreds of areas, including broadband and video. They stuck with dial-up. Ugh.

More from Dan Frommer at Splat F:

At the end of March, almost 2.7 million people still subscribed to AOL service, the company reported this morning. That’s about where Netflix stood at the end of 2004.

Since then, Netflix’s subscriber base has grown — 29 million at the end of March — and AOL’s has declined at a remarkably parallel rate. But that makes perfect sense: Nothing says “dialup” more than AOL, and few services have benefited more from the growth of broadband than Netflix. (The paths cross in early 2008, just as Netflix’s streaming video service was starting to take off

  • Worth noting: Netflix now has more subscribers than AOL ever had. (The distinction changed hands late last year.) This makes sense, given the rise of mobile devices, cheaper computers, connected videogame consoles/TVs, and just the increasing popularity of the Internet, thanks to broadband.
  • Worth pondering: What will eventually cause Netflix’s decline? Missing the next era of Internet technology? (Something mobile-first or mobile-only?) Internal crumbling? Or are Netflix’s best years just getting started?

Andy Gove once said, "Only the paranoid survive.".  I like that.

Fire a change-blocker today.  Include the AOL chart with the documentation you do on the term.




Having a few that FEAR change is fine if you are using them to help poke holes in your strategy. There's gold in them there curmudgeons. Once the direction is set, however, they must be pushing in the same direction. As soon as they become change blockers you're in trouble. A difficult dance.

Love me some Andy Grove. I'm not sure if you can find the Charlie Rose interview with the former Intel CEO on-line, but it's fascinating. Hmmm, maybe it's on Netflix. :-)

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