How would you define being frightened? Perhaps, the anxiety of failing in front of adversity or change. That anxiety takes comfort in status quo. Timing’s not right. The market’s not ready. Let’s wait ‘n see (what the other guy’s up to). Some are quite witty when it comes to argumenting status quo and the board buys it. “One mistake board members […] make is that they reward the scared but hyper-confident CEO, instead of calling him on the carpet as he rages at change.” But for how long? In some parts of the world, a business error is shunned upon, out-of-the-box thinkers are criticized, high-risk ventures are rejected from the start. I don’t see room for progress there. Unless that’s exactly their purpose : to be a top-notch second best but to make everyone think they came up with the idea FIRST.
This is leapfrogging in strategic litterature. Watching the first guy launch the new tech, watching him make a few mistakes along the way, then out you come with an “improved” version. That’s doing business with style, ladies and gents.