Average company lifespan has shrunk to 17 years : ‘Mavericks are mandatory’ for an organisation to survive, says LBS research.

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No one is indispensable. No company is indispensable.

Recently Amazon’s Jeff Bezos predicted that his company was not too big, not to fail. Now a research done at London Business School has thrown some surprising facts which could have been the precursor to the statement of Mr.Bezos.

In the mid-1920s, average lifespan of a leading company was 90 years.By the 1950s, the average company lifespan was down to 60 years. Today, it is a mere 17 years. The companies dying young.

There are few ways through which an organisation leadership can stop this, according to LBS.

a.) Business models need to evolve over a period of time, respecting what customers want.There is a very thin red line between knowing what a customer wants and ignoring a customer wants, just because it is not presently available. A customer is always waiting in flanks, for ‘her thing’, as it appears, she would flock to it, rendering companies and their products useless.

b.) E-Commerce is the greatest threat to traditional companies. The vast network strength of sales and distribution and millions of dollars spent on marketing can be countered by a nimble startup, doing a very prudent promo on a leading E-Commerce site such as Amazon; making it an overnight success. Competition can now come, without knocking; E-Commerce has kept all the doors pertinently open for competitors of any traditional company. Companies need to be forever on the guard and keep innovating. Don’t settle, keep looking; as someone rightly said.

c.) Above all, Mavericks are mandatory in an organisation, which does not have a death wish.

Without mavericks, there is no innovation. It’s that simple. Companies need people who see things differently, push boundaries and take risks. They might make people feel uncomfortable, but that’s the whole point. Without discomfort there is no progress. You can’t innovate by appointing a Chief Innovation Officer or making a plan. It has to be enmeshed in the culture of the organisation, and the only way to do that is to scatter them strategically throughout it. Mavericks at the most senior levels inspire those below them to use their difference to transform and create. If you don’t fit in and offend some people – all the better (source).

Thinking outside the box has become increasingly rare and rare in the world dominated by Big data, analytics, reams and reams of facts. Gut and raw intuition has produced the biggest innovations this planet has seen. Gut and intuition is only going to save companies from extinction.

Hail mavericks!

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