4 tips for longer-term corporate survival

Question marks right.jpgLast September, the blog noted ‘4 tips for survival in the New Normal’. Now, 3 years of research by a team of UK and Dutch academics has identified companies that have achieved almost uninterrupted success over a 20 year period, and asked senior executives about their experience.

As summarised by Stefan Stern in the Financial Times, corporate survival over the longer-term depends on 4 key areas:

Continuity. The company reinvents its business model as markets change, but doesn’t try to follow every new trend.
Anticipation. New leaders are able to re-shape the future business, not forced to continue with the policies that brought success in the past.
Disagreement. People are actively encouraged to challenge current thinking. Constructive argument, without the politics, is vital.
Meritocracy. A flexible recruitment policy is essential, that puts the best person in the job, whether or not they have been in post longest.

The study completely accepts that alignment and focus on operational issues are critical to short-term success. But it concludes that these strengths alone will not keep the business alive over the longer-term. Companies whose culture can tolerate genuine debate, and who then effectively implement its conclusions, are the ones that survive.

About Paul Hodges

Paul Hodges is Chairman of International eChem, trusted commercial advisers to the global chemical industry. He also serves as a Global Expert for the World Economic Forum. The aim of this blog is to share ideas about the influences that may shape the chemical industry and the global economy over the next 12 – 18 months. It looks behind today’s headlines, to understand what may happen next in critical areas such as oil prices, China and Emerging Markets, currencies, autos, housing, economic growth and the environment. Please do join me and share your thoughts. Between us, we will hopefully develop useful insights into the key factors that will drive the industry's future performance.


One Response to 4 tips for longer-term corporate survival

  1. omesap reowrangkusol 1 February, 2010 at 4:59 am #

    Interesting tips for survival, especially during this uncertain times. A question that tends to arise is that “WHEN” such reinvention should take place or “WHEN” the leader should determine to foster “change or reshape”. It is also important to come up with a way to solidify proper perspectives to be used to commence a change or reshape.

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