40% of today’s Fortune 500 companies will be gone in ten years:
Lifespans of top companies are shrinking – average company lifespan on S&P 500 going from 60 years to 15. pic.twitter.com/HljwA1rDF2
— Vala Afshar (@ValaAfshar) February 15, 2015
Think about that…
For established businesses, the path to transformation is really simple: innovate or die.
To do so, established businesses must adopt an innovators mindset. And one of the main attitudes that drives innovation inside established businesses is a willingness to cannibalize:
Innovative companies are more willing to eat their own lunch: they are willing to reduce the value of investments that they themselves have built. Who killed the Apple iPod? Apple did. More generally, cannibalizing could involve reducing the value of one’s own products, manufacturing, distribution channels, or skills.
The truth is cannibalization is not business as usual because CEOs don’t want a new business model; they want keep the current cash cow. It’s a challenge you must overcome. So, as a CEO of an established business, how do you disrupt yourself?
Here’s a simple piece of advice to get you off on the right track: Go and find the smartest 20 year old in your company and give him/her permission to think about how to take down your business.
If you don’t have access to smart 20 year olds, find them outside your four walls and create a conversation with them; it’s imperative that you do. You are looking for people who are not satisfied with the status quo, people who come from another world and who’s needs are not met in today’s reality.
Think about it, every business that is born today does not work like existing ones.
Simple, the internet has disrupted every known business model; including yours. Not only that, it is transforming the way we do business, the way we work, and everything else in between.
Ask yourself the following question: What would we do differently if we started our business today?
Time to get to work!
Bottom line: Innovation is the lifeblood of your business; it’s oxygen. You either disrupt yourself, or someone else will.