A “Sacred Cow” is a firmly held belief that is rarely questioned and is exempt from criticism or opposition in an industry. Every industry has its “Sacred Cows”.
Sacred Cows create blind spots that can kill companies.
Example: In the photography world, we all watched the market leader in photography fall victim to the Sacred Cow mindset. Kodak had actually invented the first digital camera, but instead of marketing the new technology, they went on defense. They buried digital to protect the lucrative film business, even after digital products were reshaping the market. Kodak declared bankruptcy in 2012.
Fundamentally, Kodak just asked the wrong question.
Management asked “How do we sell more products?”… instead of “What business are we in?”
This is a great history lesson for the leaders in orthopedics today. The big orthos are not immune to a defensive mindset.
Most big orthos are driven by short-term financials, and thus, are asking the wrong question, “How do we sell more products next quarter?”.
So, what are the Sacred Cows in our industry today? I see these 7.
#1 – We sell implants, disposable instruments and capital equipment. Our sales and profits come from these tangible products.