The statistics can be a bit daunting for entrepreneurs or executives who are experiencing a degree of success. According to Claudio Feser in his book Serial Innovators: Firms That Change the World, the average life expectancy of a company is 15 years. Of course, a large number of organizations barely survive for one-third of that time. Feser’s book, now available as a Soundview Executive Book Summary, is a survival guide for the violent seas of today’s marketplace.
Executives will appreciate that Feser tackles one of the biggest riddles of business today: continuous innovation. There are numerous ways to approach an answer, but Serial Innovators uses a unique blend of research-based organizational objectives alongside historical examples that are thought-provoking, rather than far-reaching. Feser provides solutions that don’t attempt to dismantle traditional business methods. He avoids the trap that plagues many business book authors: suggesting radical transformation procedures that readers instantly dismiss with the thought, “That will never work at our company.”
Yet it’s only natural for an executive who reads Serial Innovators to ask whether or not Feser’s methods (or anyone’s for that matter) can keep pace with the changes in the global economy. Perhaps it’s best to draw an analogy to the statistic that began this review, one which Feser references in his book. Think of what human life expectancy at birth was during previous periods of history, such as the Industrial Revolution. Advances in science were coupled with changes in lifestyle to increase the average life expectancy. It stands to reason that a shift in operations and management philosophy combined with an embrace of advances in technology can extend the life of a business. Feser’s methods will be a welcome component for smart businesses looking to extend their lifespan.