The single greatest "human folly" is resisting change, said Doug Keeley, CEO of The Mark Of A Leader, who emceed the Game Changers event. "I get why we do it: Change can be hard," he said. Among the companies that suffered because they did not make tough choices were Atari, which invented video games and was displaced by competitors, along with Polaroid and Kodak both "crushed by digital photography," said Keeley. "The list of organizations that were once leaders in their industries but didn't adapt and change as the world did includes some incredible brands that ultimately became dinosaurs," he said.
Keeley singled out one-time IBM Chairman Lou Gerstner for the "single greatest turnaround" in business history. IBM was plagued by multibillion-dollar losses when Gerstner took the helm, said Keeley, implementing a gut-wrenching restructuring that sharply focused the company on services.