The rules of business are changing faster than ever before, and traditional approaches to business are no longer sufficient to guarantee success. When IBM entered the personal computer market in the early 1980s, other companies went out of business. The computer giant should have dominated the industry, but was unable to translate its size and market strength into market dominance of the personal computer. The result is that IBM no longer controls the personal computer market, and has joined with its strongest competitor, Apple, to bring out a new product line. Such an alliance would have been unthinkable during the time that Thomas Watson headed IBM, when it did not need to work with its competition, but the rules have changed since then.
Into the chaos that American business finds itself in the 1990s comes Robert Kriegel and Louis Patler, who suggest that companies who are going to survive and thrive in the 1990s and beyond are going to be those companies which embrace change. Kriegel and Patler take on conventional wisdom and traditional business approaches and suggest that these are no longer the ways to win. As the title of their book suggests, If It Ain't Broke, Break It!
The authors use a surfing analogy throughout the book and the term "unconventional wisdom" (as opposed to conventional wisdom). While the surfing analogy at first stretches the reader's sense of credibility, the authors do a good job of likening operating in today's business environment to riding the waves. The Surfer's Rules: passion rules; no dare/no flair; expect to wipe out; never turn your back on the ocean; keep looking "outside"; move before it moves you; never surf alone (8).
Passion rules means that actions are more important than attitude. It is not enough to understand the principles that can lead to success, they have to be put into action. No dare/no flair means that individuals who succeed are constantly pushing their limits and...