There is a story that involves a man working on an oil platform in the North Sea. He was awakened one night by an explosion and found the platform engulfed in flames. For the following reasons, he had been trained to never consider jumping from a burning platform. It's a 150-foot drop from the platform to the ocean, and there is often debris, including burning oil, on the surface. If you survive the jump into 40-degree water, you will die of exposure within 15 minutes. However, being faced with the situation firsthand, he decided to jump. Fortunately, he survived and was quickly rescued. Why did he jump? He reasoned that probable death was better than certain death.

Our businesses often face "burning platforms." For example, the business is struggling and a solution looks risky, yet business leaders take the plunge in order to survive. Some leaders may face the potential insolvency or bankruptcy of their business as their burning platform. Others may see a need to dramatically improve customer satisfaction as theirs.

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