3. BEING AFRAID OF ONE’S OWN SHADOW
As we know, when the groundhog emerges from his burrow, he looks to see whether he has a shadow on the ground. Of course, the shadow could be long and much larger than the groundhog. And so the groundhog becomes scared if he sees his shadow and runs back into his burrow.
I’m not sure if it works for the groundhog. There are many predators that can kill a groundhog so it’s logical for groundhogs to be scared of big shadows—big shadows could be big animals. But if the groundhog is really scared of his own shadow, then he may wind up running back into that burrow for six more weeks of living in the dark, with little to eat, when he could be out enjoying the early spring.
So, I’m mixed on whether this is a good strategy for the groundhog. But I’m certain that it is not a good strategy for your company in its digital transformation.
What does it mean for a company to be scared of its own shadow?
It’s the fear of changing. After all, very often when we create a vision for what digital transformation might mean for our company—new ways of serving the customer, new supply chains, new whole ideas about what products and business models you bring to the market—we may look at that shadow of ourselves and see that while it looks like us, it doesn’t really look exactly like we look now. Maybe it’s bigger or longer. It’s scary to think about changing in that way and we run back into our burrow because we’re fearful of that change.
Digital has changed everything about how customers shop, how companies do business, how employees work, how people date and find someone to be with, how weddings are planned, you name it.
Just about every aspect of life has been changed by digital. If you’re not prepared to change your business for a digital world, you’re likely to become irrelevant to your customers.
Being afraid of your own shadow is a groundhog-like behavior that you should not be engaging in as you try to transform your business.