Raw intelligence, business savvy, people skills—these traits once served as fair indicators of future professional success. And they still do. But history tells us that a business can still fail, even when these traits are present in the leadership. What then, are the reliable indicators of success? What are the traits of a chronically prosperous company, like Apple®?
Maybe it’s time for entrepreneurs and business owners to stop asking the question “How do I become successful?” and start asking the question “How do I remain successful?”
Plenty of companies reach liftoff; they get off the ground and catch the air under their newly spread wings. But the failure rate for new companies is abysmal. According to Fundera, “20% of small businesses fail in their first year, 30% of small businesses fail in their second year, and 50% of small businesses fail after five years in business. Finally, 30% of small business owners fail in their 10th year in business.” Chalk it up to poor management? Insufficient finances? Or is it something else? A business can go under for any number of reasons, but is there a trait which, when present, begins to safeguard a company against it? When we behold businesses like BlackBerry and Blockbuster that tumbled beneath the weight of their own success, we start to wonder: if ample funds and stellar leadership can’t save a company, what can?
The answer is adaptability. And it can be measured with your Adaptability Quotient (AQ). One of the reasons that adaptability has become such a pressing factor for success in today’s market is the fact that we are contending with so much change.
You might be thinking, my product or service is fully functional as-is. Why would I need to change it? Well, I too thought the same thing—until I tuned into the pulse of our Members, and heard out their preferences and needs as authors. Just because they had their book in hand didn’t mean they were ready to be sent on their way. Many needed guidance on how to market their work, especially in the digital sphere. The market had evolved, and so had their needs. This was an opportunity to adapt: to update our product and expand the scope of our partnership. Driven to adapt, we installed a full-blown, in-house marketing suite, and later partnered with one of the most iconic business media companies in the world— Forbes—to create ForbesBooks.
Being adaptable doesn’t mean just introducing a new product to your realm of offerings. It requires constant attention to what’s going on in the world, analyzing your competitors, and most importantly, not getting too comfortable at the top of the pyramid. The business cycle is much like a StairMaster®—once you get to the top, you have to keep climbing to stay up there.
To help navigate the previously unchartered waters of the adaptability quotient, our team dug deep and researched how top players respond to unanticipated changes in the market, how you can deliberately and strategically cultivate your adaptability, and uncovered what the internal structure of an adaptable company looks like. Advantage|ForbesBooks is thrilled to announce the release of it’s debut whitepaper, Adapt or Die: Why Corporate Giants Failed, How to Make Sure You Don’t, now available for free download to all CEOs, business owners, and thought leaders who aim to keep an edge over their competitors. At Advantage|ForbesBooks, we espouse the importance of thought leadership in your field, and couldn’t wait to share the tenets of this powerful business insight with our readership. To learn how to raise your AQ, click here to download the whitepaper.