Change is not a once in a while thing anymore

Change is not a once in a while thing anymore

Posted by Torben Rick | May 22, 2015 | Business Disruption, Change Management
Adapt or die - Change is not a once in a while thing anymore

Adapt or die

Nothing stays the same because nothing ever has – or ever will

An unprecedented rate of change – Danger of becoming obsolete

The old adage of “adapt or die” that has its roots in Darwinism states that if an organism does not adapt to its environment, it will die. Only the fittest will survive, and those are the ones that transform themselves to live with a new environment.

The same goes for companies and the changing technology environment around them that is now directed at the digital age.

Change is not a once in a while thing anymore

It’s becoming increasingly clear that change is not a once-in-a-while thing but something that is going to be happening all the time.

Change isn’t coming, it is already here - If you were waiting for a sign, this is it

Change is not a once in a while thing anymore. If you were waiting for a sign, this is itChange is accelerating, to the point where it will soon be nearly continuous. Periods of sustained competitive advantage are getting shorter. It’s not just something that is happening in technology, either. It’s happening in every industry.

Change isn’t coming, it is already here. EMBRACE CHANGE …. It’s here already

The lifespan of large, successful companies has never been shorter

Lifespans of top companies are shrinking, according to an Innosight study of the S&P 500 Index:

  • US corporations in the S&P500 in 1958 remained in the index for an average of 61 years.  By 1980, the average tenure of an S&P500 firm was 25 years, and by 2011 that average shortened to 18 years based on seven year rolling averages. In other words, the churn rate of companies in the S&P500 has been accelerating over time
  • At current churn rate, 75% of the S&P 500 will be replaced by 2027

Average company lifespan on S&P 500 index

Danger of becoming obsolete - Average company lifespan

40% of companies will be dead in 10 years

At a customer conference CEO John Chambers (CISCO) outlined his vision for the future. A speech, filled with fire-and-brimstone predictions:

40% of businesses in this room, unfortunately, will not exist in a meaningful way in 10 years. 70% of companies will “attempt” to go digital, but only 30% of those that try it will be successful.

He warned companies that they could not “miss a market transition or a business model” or “underestimate your competitor of the future – not your competitor of the past”. “Either we disrupt or we get disrupted,” he said.

Corporate transformation under pressure - Change is not a once in a while thing anymore

Change is not a once in a while thing anymore – Change is accelerating in every industry

Change the way companies think about change

If change is a constant, then the only real sustainable competitive advantage is to be able to grow and evolve continually, to stay ahead of the competitive pack.

What companies requires today is an organization that are agile, that can adapt and evolve on a continual basis; an organization that can generate new businesses, that can sprout and branch into new categories and new industries, that can recover quickly from failures and move on.

Interesting times ahead!

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About The Author

Torben Rick

Experienced senior executive, both at a strategic and operational level, with strong track record in developing, driving and managing business improvement, development and change management. International experience from management positions in Denmark, Germany and Switzerland.

Blog Comments

I totally agree! If your company is not following the latest trends in business and technology, it wouldn’t last long.

“If change is a constant, then the only real sustainable competitive advantage is to be able to grow and evolve continually, to stay ahead of the competitive pack.”

Is there not a logical inconsistency here? If many organisations were competitive, there would be no pack of which to stay ahead.

MANY PEOPLE AT ALL LEVELS HATE CHANGE; WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WHAT WE HATE IS WHAT WE NEED TO SURVIVE: CHANGE, AGILITY, & THE COMPETITIVE EDGE: “Periods of sustained competitive advantage are getting shorter…. It’s happening in every industry…. Change the way companies think about change… If change is a constant, then the only real sustainable competitive advantage is to be able to grow and evolve continually, to stay ahead of the competitive pack. What companies require today is an organization that is agile, that can adapt and evolve on a continual basis; an organization that can generate new businesses, that can sprout and branch into new categories and new industries, that can recover quickly from failures and move on. Interesting times ahead!…”~~ Torben Rick—–(THIS HAS BEEN TRUE FOR A VERY LONG TIME; IT IS NO LONGER POSSIBLE TO IGNORE IT. “To adapt is to survive.”~~Ivory Dorsey)

Competitive Advantage requires a constant look at change. Those companies who rest on their laurels grow stagnant while the door of opportunity opens for those who take advantage of businesses who answer the knock at their door.

Change in leadership values can also drive a more empowered workforce than just the same old mediocre performance which is so common in business today. Again, going to stagnation. New leadership styles, such as servant leadership, can lead to super-performing employees and a happier, more sustainable workforce.

I agree wholeheartedly. It is important to note that agility requires not only the ability to make constant adjustments in current organizational paradigms; it also requires the ability to transform the paradigm. And, it requires the ability to be doing both simultaneously, while minimizing the loss of productivity and quality. Agility is an organizational muscle that needs to be developed over time.

Evolve or Dissolve – that is change and it is a constant in today’s world.

This is particularly true in Local Government now too. Numerous Transformation programmes are happening in every area of Councils now and the Change and Transformation teams are becoming a more common feature, with an ever increasing rolling programme of work.

Very true Torben, this is why we need to learn how to be outstanding antcipaters instead of responders. To antcipate well means to be ready for certain change which aren’t around already but are likely to show up suddenly. It means we have a constant relaxed ability to use all of our senses very well and constant make very small but essential adaptions.

Just like driving a car on the highway/motorway with high speed.

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