Change or die - why
constant change is the
future of work
Change or die. Adapt to survive. It's not
just a biological imperative, but also a
business one - now more than ever. It's
the stark choice facing almost every
You might think I'm being a little dramatic. Well,
more than half of the companies on the 1999
FTSE 100 were no longer there in 2015. Many
have been ripped apart by their competitors or
become entirely extinct. It seems like every day
we're seeing a stampede of cutbacks, job
losses, profit warnings, takeovers, even
administrations and bankruptcies.
Think about those household names that have
bitten the dust. Toys R Us, BHS, Woolworths,
Enron, Blockbuster… the list goes on. UK
electronics retailer Comet, for example, went
from a turnover of £2 billion in 2008 to being
sold for just £2 in 2011. That's some
devaluation in just two years.
What did all these fallen behemoths have in
common? They all failed to change quickly
enough. None of these companies kept pace
with their competitors, let alone the disruptors
that shook up their industries.
The barrier to entry is lower than ever, and
nimble start-ups are nibbling at the toes of the
slower companies, who are too busy trying to
keep up with (or being eaten by) the evermore-dominant Big 5 (Amazon, Google,
Apple, Microsoft and Facebook). How many of
you are looking over your shoulder to see if
Amazon's decided to join your sector yet?
The technological treadmill
No one wants to be next, and everyone's
trying to change as fast as they can to keep
up. The problem is, that pace is reaching
breakneck speed. Technological disruption is
nothing new - but it's accelerating.
Mary Meeker, the closest thing the tech world
has to Groundhog Day's titular Punxsutawney
prognosticator (sorry, Mary), recently released
her annual tech forecast.