Batting cleanup in this week’s all-star lineup of guest bloggers is one of the most accomplished storytellers I know; Scott McKain. Not only is Scott brilliant in his ability to entertain you with wonderfully constructed word pictures, but he does so in a truly thought-provoking fashion that leaves you both inspired and informed. Scott is the author of three #1 business bestsellers, including his latest: “Collapse of Distinction; Stand Out & Move Up While Your Competition Fails” — as well as “ALL Business is Show Business” and “What Customers REALLY Want.” Scott also has the distinction of being selected for membership in the legendary Speakers Roundtable and the Professional Speakers Hall of Fame, and he has appeared on platforms in all 50 states and 13 countries. I highly recommend Scott’s Blog, as well as following him on Twitter @scottmckain, or on Facebook. Scott’s post today is on the importance of leaders not taking their customers for granted…

What would YOU do if someone provided you contact with literally millions of potential customers…and did so absolutely FREE?

Well, if you’re in the newspaper business, you would complain. Which may explain why they are in the shape in which they currently find their industry.

In an op-ed piece in the December 2 edition of “The Wall Street Journal,” Google co-founder Eric Schmidt offers that his company should not be considered the problem when the print media belabors its woes. In fact, according to Schmidt, Google is the newspaper industry’s greatest source of promotion. They are providing literally 100,000 opportunities a minute for newspapers to “win loyal readers and generate revenue—for free.”

I think he’s right. The problem is not Google – the flaw is in the monopolistic, conventional thinking that is part of the fabric of most traditional media outlets. Even Rupert Murdoch has said the problem is not technology – it’s complacency.

You don’t have to look to a far-away past to remember the time that a city’s newspaper was one of its most stable and profitable enterprises. The family (before media conglomerates like today) that owned the paper – in my home area, it was the Bingham’s of Louisville or the Pulliam’s of Indianapolis – were one of the center-points of high society. Reporters were given time to research and investigate, and it went without saying that civic and charitable involvement was an integral part of the duties expected of their employees.

How quickly things change. I – like millions of others – have canceled my subscription for delivery of the physical paper. I can read it easily and quickly on my iPhone or laptop. Yet, the other problem is perhaps even more profound. I find more interesting and compelling writing on my favorite blogs – and more instantaneous information on Twitter.

However, if the local newspaper would have more emphasis on better writing – and if the delivery of content was more immediate and user-friendly – there would be no reason for me to stray. Again, complacency…not technology…is the issue.

It’s a great lesson for all of us — in every industry. Aspects and traditions we take for granted can be decimated in a relative instant in today’s hyper-speed culture.

Leaders respect the history of their company and industry while maximizing their organization’s current position. Visionary leaders, in addition, do not let tradition imprison their thinking about the future. They embrace organizational revolution, rather than display a knee-jerk opposition to change. They refuse to allow themselves – or their colleagues – to accept contentment as a way of corporate life.

And, they certainly wouldn’t view 100,000 prospects a minute as a bad thing.

Schmidt concludes, “I certainly don’t believe that the Internet will mean the death of news. Through innovation and technology, it can endure with newfound profitability and vitality.”

What will lead your organization into newfound profits and energy?