It was not long ago that many market leaders were described as superior in competition and immortal in various management books. Yet, many of these same companies have disappeared now. Why? Well, all living things eventually die. It’s like the human body; it renews itself by regenerating its DNA. It is this process that enables us to stay alive. But as we get older the renewing process in our body slows down, thus making the human body grow older. Aging leads to limited abilities in the human body; it’s the same for companies when their corporate DNA is not renewed. Without change and innovation, a company will not regenerate its corporate DNA and, as a result, it starts to slow down.
Google regenerated itself by allowing employees to use 20% of their working time (one day per week) to work on new projects and ideas. That 20% also motivates Google’s employees to work more effectively during the rest of the week. They call it “new projects”, but I would argue that moving is not an option for market leaders which want to stay alive. By working on its process of renewal, Google will grow its strength and defence capability.
Google maybe highly ranked by today’s business media, but as an organization it is constantly dying 24/7. Why? Its top management and talent will not be around in 5–50 years’ time depending on the circumstances and events Google finds itself in. If Google does not continue to attract new talent, its speed of development will slow down and eventually it will stop renewing itself. For predators it will be feeding time when Google’s evolutionary speed begins to slow down.
In evolution it is never a question of if they will slow down but it is always a question of when they will slow down.
Above from the defence part in the www.Sharkonomics.com book.