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.
Executives are constantly fighting a battle on two fronts. There is the desire to improve the organization month by month and quarter by quarter. However, personal progress cannot be neglected in the pursuit of organizational excellence. After all, to make a better company, you need to be at your best. This month Soundview Executive Book Summaries features three summaries that will help you improve the performance of yourself, your team and your organization.
by Claudio Feser
Serial Innovators by Claudio Feser: The typical life expectancy of a company is estimated to be about 15 years. What does it take to exist beyond that average? A company must be able to keep up with changing markets. It has to learn what elements are slowing down its ability to adapt. A company must be able to continuously reinvent itself to stay relevant. Serial Innovators is a guide for how to build a company that is adaptive, innovative and can survive well into the future.
by Les McKeown
The Synergist by Les McKeown: A successful team includes bold dreamers (Visionaries), pragmatic realists (Operators), and systems designers (Processors) but it takes a Synergist to blend the motivations and goals of the three types and get everyone to work together effectively. The Synergist puts aside his or her own agenda and captures the best input from each team member. Anyone can learn to be the Synergist and fill this critical role in teamwork improvement. The Synergist reveals a proven method to build highly successful teams while stimulating personal and organizational growth.
by Robert I. Sutton
Good Boss, Bad Boss by Robert I. Sutton: How a boss wields his or her power over an employee is bound to result in feelings that might include resentment, confusion or possibly comfort. If you are a boss, are you attuned to how your words and actions affect your employees? Good Boss, Bad Boss is for bosses and those who have bosses. It details how to adopt the characteristics of a good boss and survive the flaws of a bad boss. Dr. Sutton uses real-life case studies and behavioral science research to reveal exactly what the best bosses do.
To download your copies in any of Soundview’s multiple digital formats, visit Soundview’s Web site, Summary.com.