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RIM needs new blood: Why spate of exits is a good thing Add to ...

Now that yet another Research in Motion Inc. executive has fled the firm, you’re probably thinking RIM is doomed.

That’s a fair thought. High-level execs are running for the exits, and RIM is about to embark on a 2,000 person restructuring. From an employee morale standpoint alone, it’s pretty ugly.

But consider this, just for a second: new blood is necessary.

Call me crazy – I’m sure the commenters will – but RIM needs a radical shift. If it’s ever to be what it once was, it needs to come at its problems in a new way. For years, everyone I knew had a BlackBerry, or wanted one. Now fewer and fewer of my friends do. They actually make fun of me for having one. “Let’s play Draw Something,” they say, to which I reply: ‘I can’t.’

To not want a Berry is one thing. To mock someone for having one is another. Even in the business world, I see more and more execs schlepping around iPads to coffee meetings and toying with iPhones or Android operating systems.

My theory isn’t so much about RIM itself. It’s applicable to so many organizations. For all the wrong reasons, we too often act like we do in a bad relationship that we know is over. We keep holding on, convincing ourselves that we can make it work. Sometimes you need to sever the ties, reminisce on the good times, and learn from your mistakes in the next go-around.

In RIM’s case, I’m the first to admit that I’m not the expert on the company’s inner workings. For that, look to The Globe’s Iain Marlow, who covers RIM extensively and even wrote a magazine piece on chief executive officer Thorstein Heins’ first 100 days as the man in charge. And I’m not trying to be naive. Trust me, I know you need to keep in place at least some key people who have some history with the company.

But fresh eyes aren’t a bad thing. It’s to be hoped they’ll see things for what they are – like a good friend who is emotionally walled from the relationship.

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