Samsung chairman Lee Kun-hee insists on creating a crisis mentality at the world's largest electronics company.
That might seem odd, given that Samsung has emerged as the decade's cutting-edge gadget maker.
Once ridiculed for its cheap knock-off phones and TVs, this week it surpassed Apple as the world's most profitable smartphone maker, with $8.5 billion in quarterly profits. It sold an estimated 71 million units, more than doubling iPhone sales.
Despite its success, Samsung chairman Lee insists that his company remain in a state of perpetual shake-up. In classic Samsung style, he's attempting to ward off the burnout that afflicts so many consumer electronics companies. It's a common story in the tech world, where executives who've hit it big become complacent, unwilling to risk their salaries on bold new ideas.
Examples abound. Corporate arrogance and sluggishness deadened Sony's once-iconic Walkman product line; from 2010 to 2012 the formerly dominant rival was in the red. For Apple, which in April posted its first quarterly profit decline in 10 years, the affliction appears to be a dearth of new ideas.
"An empire built on silicon can fall quickly," as one commentator put it.
The company is moving quickly to avoid the trap of hubris.