According to Dell and the Institute for the Future, 85% of the jobs in 2030 haven’t even been invented yet. It’s no surprise CEOs are concerned about how quickly the world is changing and whether their organisations will have the ability to adapt to these changes.
There was a time when it was acceptable – and even practical – to create a detailed five-year company plan. Today that plan is the equivalent of an exercise in creativity. In the 1950s the average lifespan of a company on the S&P 500 was 60 years, almost a full lifetime. By 1965 it had shrunk to 33 years; in 1990 it was 20 years, and in 2026 it is projected to shrink to 14 years. Forget a lifetime, we’re barely talking about becoming a teenager at this point.
The Fortune 500 list isn’t doing any better. Since its inception in 1955 only 53 companies remain. That’s a survival rate of barely 10%. All of the others have either gone bankrupt, merged, or have just dropped off the list. Do you even remember companies like Armour, Esmark, Amoco, RCA, Union Carbide, Bethlehem Steel, or Douglas Aircraft? Probably not, yet all of these organisations were giants of their day.