We Are Now Failing 75% of the Time

Uncategorized Jun 18, 2020


As the world continues to go through major turbulence, I keep wondering how can we get better at adapting to and managing change.

To help us find the answer to this question, for the last few years, we’ve been conducting a regular global survey.

In 2018, out of over 2,000 participants, 47% reported that in order to survive, they needed to reinvent their businesses every three years or less.

Data from 2020 is still coming in, but the first 500 respondents show that the number has jumped to 58%!

(You can still participate in this SUPER important survey - and I promise to provide fresh data with even more insights.}

That should come as no surprise, given the deep interconnections that come with participating in a global economy.

The World Economic Forum’s 2019 Global Risk Report has mapped out 30 critical risks across five categories — economic, environmental, geopolitical, societal, and technological — and showed the interconnections between them.

The spread of infectious disease was one of the top-10. Covid-19 (or something like it) was fully anticipated, and many other projected disruptions will likely come to pass, too.

The trouble is that although we recognize and may even anticipate the risks, we are not good at adapting to them.

Two decades ago, in a HBR article, Nitin Nohria and Michael Beer observed that “about 70% of all change initiatives fail.” Today, according to global consulting firm BCG, we’ve actually gotten worse at it: 75% of transformation efforts don’t deliver the hoped-for results.”

Small wonder, then, that companies don’t seem to stay successful for very long anymore. The 2018 Corporate Longevity Forecast conducted by Innosight showed that in 1964, S&P 500 companies would stay on the list for an average of 33 years. It “narrowed to 24 years by 2016 and is forecast to shrink to just 12 years by 2027.”

This suggests that there’s something profoundly wrong with some of our basic assumptions about how change works.

It is time we flip these assumptions upside down.

And that's exactly the subject of my most recent Harvard Business Review article:

Flip #1: from Follow Best Practices to Share Your Failures

Flip #2: from If It Ain’t Broke Don’t Fix It to Fix it Anyway

Flip #1: from Control Your Assets to Share Your Assets

With 75% of our change efforts failing miserably, and more disruptions coming our way, to survive and thrive we simply must challenge our assumptions and try new things.

So, which of these flips have you already tried - and which ones would you love to try out next? 


P.S. I keep sounding like a broken record, but 5 minutes of your time, anonymously, make a HUGE difference when it comes to quality research. Your voice, your experience, your insights matter. Please, participate in our 2020 study>>




Dr. Nadya Zhexembayeva helps companies such as Coca-Cola, Kohler, and IBM turn change and disruption into an opportunity

Want to join our amazing reinvention community? Take this 5-minute survey and you are in, here is the link>>


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