The Today Show

Today Show vs. GMA: What doesn't kill you makes you stronger

May 2, 2012: 10:31 AM ET

Gordon Gekko famously proclaimed greed to be the central tenet of business. What tripe. The real truism about business is that competition is good. In fact, it's great.

By Jack and Suzy Welch

FORTUNE -- Pick any hot topic over the past decade or two – tax policy, Social Security, nuclear power, American Idol, you name it – and if you put a dozen people in a room, you'd get a cacophony of opinions.

But ask those same people, "So, what morning show do you watch?" and you'd just as likely get one big chorus back, saying, "Today, of course!"

The Today Show's ratings domination is legendary.

Actually, make that "was" legendary. During the week of Apr. 9, the program drew 13,000 fewer viewers than its longtime (and formerly distant) rival Good Morning America. The loss, as was so gaspingly reported, broke Today's epic 852-week winning streak.

To which we say, "What a lucky break!"

No – not for GMA, but for Today, because its loss means something very exciting is about to happen. The show is about to start experiencing business as it should always be experienced by every organization: as if each and every day were the last quarter of the Super Bowl.

MORE: Hiring in a hurry picks up

Gordon Gekko famously proclaimed greed to be the central tenet of business. What tripe. The real, galvanizing truism about business is that competition is good. In fact, it's great.

Look, competition is what makes work more than clocking hours and turns it into something powerfully exhilarating, something about pushing harder, reaching farther and building the future. How? By making companies think smarter, run faster, and operate more sharply. By driving teams to coalesce and getting people to share ideas across all sorts of boundaries. By sparking innovation in everything from product design to process engineering. More

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