Bloomberg reports that BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins doubts the future of Tablet PCs. Obviously Microsoft, Apple, Samsung, Google, etc thing differently. So what’s going on here. Is this the proverbial fox saying the grapes are sour simply because they are out of his reach? Does Heins genuinely believe that Tables really are not going to be profitable or a significant portion of the computing market? Is Heins wishing this to be so because his company has failed to get in on the action? Or is he trying to manipulate the game by speaking as an industry thought leader, in the hope that others will say, “Oh, well if that’s the case, we better shift our focus.” This would be an example of trying to reframe the conversation so you can say what puts your message in the best possible light. Nothing new or novel there.
Which is it? How do we tell? Perhaps there is a more important question:
What does Heins’ action say to you about your own behavior? How do you “spin” the story in an effort to manage the present and guide the future? What, if any, are the limits to such behavior?
The now deposed JC Penney CEO Ron Johnson spoke with certainty about the coming success of his “new” approach for the retail giant. Sadly for JCP employees and investors, he was wrong. May the new guy have better luck. Either way, Johnson was clearly, it seems to be, attempting to use the power of The Secret and the time honored “laws of attraction” to generate the energy to draw success toward his company.
Of course we all want and need to believe we will succeed. Psychological research suggests that the majority of people believe they are above average – a statistical impossibility. Even so, researchers go on to argue that if we did not have this exhuberance, if we were more realistic about our chances of success, we might not get out of bed in the morning. Imagine the sales person who started every call by saying, “I doubt you will want to buy from me – only 1 out of a 100 do – but let me tell you….” That approach equals failure.
Back to the original questions:
What is Heins doing here, and
How do we think about our own similar behavior
What are the moral boundaries or limits, if any, to such prognosticating?
What do you think?