Thursday, July 9, 2009

More on Microsoft , GM and Mandalas.

With the news that Google is soon to offer an operating system (OS) my earlier posts comparing Microsoft and General Motors seem increasingly more relevant. Back in 2001, months before the world changed, my mentor, Steve Hayden presented something he called "Hayden's Mandala," a "model to describe all human and organizational behavior."

Here it is in a nutshell.

1. It starts with fear. "I'll always be stuck in a sucky job. Or "I'm afraid our company will never be famous."
2. That leads to people inspired to come up with a concept and that "leads to intelligence."
3. Next comes "intelligent fear." The anxiety that "someone else could squash me like a tortilla, or someone else has already done that." So you come up with a better idea, you do better work.
4. Then comes arrogance. When you're not squashed you get the feeling "We’re smarter than they are, they’re dumb, they’re old, they’re slow, and we know what we’re doing."
5. Things are going right now. You're winning marketshare. You are at your height. That's "intelligent arrogance."
6. The counter-balance to that is...stupidity. For GM, it was Oh, Japanese cars will never have more than 10% marketshare. For Microsoft, it's been we're a monopoly--why listen to customers.
7. Then things fall apart. As they always do when you act stupidly.

This is the way the world works. The way agencies go. The way, too often relationships go.

I can't guarantee Google's new OS will clean MSFT's clock. But my guess is that Microsoft will follow a GM-like course. They'll lose 1.5 points of marketshare every year for 30 years.

Ah, ever the optimist.


Teenie said...

Do you think step 8 is starting all over again without having learned a thing...?

geo said...

Oh, yes. Of course. It's circular. A Mandala.