Blurry Vision: How Corporate Boards and the Consulting Industry Undermine the Future of Great Companies


When I wrote about “Kodak’s Entrepreneurial Failure,” last week, I didn’t have all the details about the company’s decline and fall from greatness.  A few days later, however, one of the readers—a formerKodak (NYSE:EK) middle manager—connected the dots for me.

In the early 1980s, Kodak did undergo a successful entrepreneurial transformation from the traditional film business to digital photography—a $20 billion annual business. But by the late 1980s, the board of directors, at the advice of outside consultants, dismantled the digital business division, switching resources back to the company’s “core” film business!

Kodak’s blurry vision is neither new nor unique in the corporate world, as the boards of a number of great American companies have been blindsided by untested ideas promoted by the consulting industry—that often end up enriching its own bottom line rather than the bottom line of its clients.

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