Writing Engage!, a business book about 15 amazing companies and the new way of doing business, has lead into meeting so many interesting companies and having fascinating conversations.
I recently was asked this question: Can all companies become amazing?
There is no simple answer but I do think leaders need to pay attention.
Realistically, the answer is probably not, given the way companies are structured and function currently.
Should they become amazing companies? If they want to attract and retain the top talent and thrive in the future--absolutely!
Research by the Olin School of Business shows that 40% of the current Fortune 500 companies will not be in business by 2025! If you're in the corporate world and that doesn't get your attention, then I don't know what will!
We're going through a HUGE paradigm shift right now and the industrial based models and thinking are rapidly becoming obsolete. We have huge shifts happening in technology that will revolutionize industries and put a lot of companies out of business very quickly.
Rather than getting frightened by this, how can we embrace this? How can we actively work towards transforming companies into the new paradigm? This comes down to understanding that business leaders and companies have a wonderful opportunity to create an thriving work environment where employees are happy to be a part of and contribute with all their passion and special talents. One of the best business strategies is to get the employees engaged.
Can you image a world where everyone knows why they were born, what special gift or talent they have to share with the world, and that they are living this by expressing it through the work they are doing? It may sound idealistic and a little pollyanna but I do believe that is where we are heading.
I don't think in 20 years we'll have the huge corporations like we have them today. I think people will become experts and work more on a project basis coming together given their expertise. I think the 9 to 5 job model is becoming obsolete as well. People are having a much harder time separating work from their lives so it is important that they love their work so much it isn't work but it is their passion. Leaders need to match the right talent, give them their objectives, and then get out of their way so they can get the job done. This is exactly how Richard Branson has built up his empire of 200+ companies.
We're having a revolution of entrepreneurs and there will be two billion NEW people coming online within the next five years. We are facing more changes than ever in the history of mankind! China alone has used more concrete in the last three years than the US has in the entire 20th century! If you only look at the demographics of countries, it is easy to see that emerging markets like India, Africa, and many South American countries will take the lead in the coming years as their younger generations embrace technology and innovation in this global marketplace.
The purpose driven companies with high levels of employee engagement are the ones that will survive and thrive. They are the ones that will get the best talent and stay ahead with innovation, creativity, execution, customer service, time to market, and be the most sustainable, the most profitable, and making the biggest positive impact.
We're living in exponential times, not linear. All I can say is buckle your seatbelt--it's going to be a ride of a lifetime!