In the 1979 award-winning thriller, "The China Syndrome," a reporter (Jane Fonda) and cameraman (Michael Douglas) discovered safety violations at a nuclear power plant. The term "China Syndrome" reflected the belief that if an American nuclear reactor plant experiences a meltdown, the core will melt through the earth until it reaches China. (Suspend your disbelief for a moment–we all know that the opposite side of the globe is actually the Indian Ocean).
It may appear that Google is experiencing a business strategy crisis right now–but they are actually averting a global commercial meltdown in the long term. Here’s why.
The core of any organization is defined by its values. Our values determine the way we run our lives as well as how we do things at work. When companies are not living their core values, they have no safety net. They are inviting a meltdown of trust, repute, and long-term viability. When they defend their core values, they create a more temporary, less threatening challenge: controversy.
Google's China Syndrome underscores three important reminders: