What can the Episcopal Church learn from Kodak’s bankruptcy

In 1996, Kodak was the fourth most valuable brand in the world behind only Disney, Coca-Cola and McDonald’s. Last week it filed for bankruptcy. At this blog Preaching Scarf, Jake Dell contemplates Kodak’s fate and wonders if there are lessons in its downfall for the Episcopal Church.

First, examine the church’s — particularly the Episcopal Church’s — core competency. Where do we dominate? Are we at risk of losing that dominance?

Second, will a “turnaround” be the answer? Restructuring didn’t save Kodak.

Third, can we identify any areas where we once led or innovated but where we have not realized the benefits of that innovation? In the mid-1970s, Kodak’s R&D developed some of the first digital cameras, an innovation that in the end killed the brand. What was our “digital camera”, if any?

Fourth, where is there fear of cannibalizing our existing church models? Is that fear acting as a bottleneck stifling innovation?

Finally, what’s in our name? Here is another take on Kodak’s fall that says it wasn’t their failure to adapt to digital, but that it was actually in their name — a name that screamed “print photography!”

Could our very name be dead?

Are there lessons in Kodak’s failure for us? If so, what are they?

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