Your Company’s Shrinking Life Expectancy

The life expectancy of a US company is becoming shorter and shorter, according to a new study by The Boston Consulting Group. At the same time, the possibility of being out of business within 5 years, either through bankruptcy or a merger or acquisition, is becoming greater and greater.

These facts should motivate a sense of urgency in organizations. But how can leaders advocate for change when today’s business environment seems so reassuring?

The authors provide several creative ways to generate a sense of urgency in the face of comfort:

  1. Conduct a maverick scan – looking at companies on the edge of your industry who are betting against the incumbents.
  2. Survey bad customers – instead of current customers who will give you false positives.
  3. Conduct a “destroy your business” war game – attacking the current strategies of your business.
  4. Look at neighboring industries and geographies and ask “why not?” – to expand your strategic thinking beyond the obvious.
  5. Map and eliminate frictions – so you know what will eventually be done by a competitor if you don’t do it first.