How to be a Successful Company in the Next 5 Years
I think at this point it’s difficult to argue against the thesis that we’re living in period of economic change that in retrospect will probably be as significant as the changes brought by the industrial revolution and the agrarian revolution before that.
There are fundamental changes happening in what creates value and who gets to benefit from the value that will have consequences for decades, if not centuries. Part of that is driven by technology, part of it is not driven by technology, it is driven by changing cultures, by a globalizing world by legal reforms that are, in some ways, sort of undoing much of the economic structures that were built by the industrial revolution. What this means for individuals, business people is that there will be much greater pressure on recognizing and being comfortable with change.
It is unlikely that a mid-level firm will be able to thrive in the next 20 years the same way it did between 1960 and 1980 simply by taking advantage of economic opportunities created by larger companies or corporations. GM was incredibly innovative for it’s time there were literally thousands of firms who were able to take advantage of GM’s innovation without working very hard. Apple is incredibly innovative for our time. There are not thousands of firms that are able to take advantage without working very hard. The capacity and the appetite for change is accelerating and has accelerated.
Companies who aren’t actively thinking about how am I going to be a different company 5 years from now that I am right now are companies that we know according to data historically end up suffering more negative consequences than the behavior should probably deserve.