Perhaps the biggest threat to business growth it not in failing, but in becoming obsolete – no longer in use or only a fading memory of days past.
Thanks to the ever-increasing speed of technology, dozens of entire industries (not just companies within an industry) have already or nearly given in to this adversary. I’m sure many of us here remember how fax machines and their slick-thermal imaging paper rolls were once a business necessity. Thanks to advances in connectivity, email capacities, cloud-based file sharing, and the like; these machines are no longer relevant for most of us. These same advances were also the catalyst to the recorded music industry as well as aspects of USPS.
In the title image; you will see a graph indicating volume of first-class letters that USPS delivered from 1926-2015. 2002 was the pivotal year that started the decline. Fortunately for them, while 1st class mail sharply declined, packages from e-commerce companies have increased.
Is the idea of a University Degree next?
More and more people today subscribe to the notion that Universities are already, or well on their way, to becoming obsolete because their structures cannot keep pace with the speed of information and innovation. They say that the majority of our education systems cannot effectively teach the information that is relevant today.
Here, Grant Cardone claims that 4000 Universities Are Soon To Be Obsolete.
Back in 2009, David Wiley, a university professor, predicted that Universities Will Be Irrelevant by 2020.
Is YOUR operational model becoming obsolete?
My guess is that this is closer to the case than not. For decades, employee engagement has been low – disastrously low. This, despite the abundant amount of information available on the benefits of high engagement, not to mention how much impact a small shift towards improving this will make.
It wasn’t until I read this article published on Harvard Business Review’s HBR.com on 24 May that I made the complete connection.
What fascinated me was how much insight they got from asking one simple question every two weeks. “On a scale of 1-10; how do you feel about the value you were able to contribute in the last cycle?” What fascinated me the most was how this practice helped them to dramatically decrease the time and cost of bringing innovations to market. This coming from a company founded in 1837 that specializes in very durable farm and construction equipment.
What are YOU doing to keep obsolescence at bay?