About 9 months ago I was invited to a dinner at the Global Peter Drucker Forum (which I am proud to chair this year). We had a fascinating discussion about how hard it is to get large established companies to systematically innovate and create new growth engines.
I remember vividly how one of the participants argued that it might be the natural course of organizations to grow and scale and eventually get disrupted and die because of their inability to innovate. I used to believe the same, until I realized the enormous cost to people and society when a large organization fails. It’s one thing to argue such a point of view at a beautiful dinner table with a group of smart folks. It’s a completely different thing when you take the perspective of those affected. When a company shuts down or restructures the impact can be far reaching — customers, vendors, suppliers, employees, their families and the local community itself.
The above anecdote reinforces my belief that Strategyzer can make a real difference in the world. Financial returns are not our main motivation when we help large companies reinvent themselves and build new engines of growth. Our motivation comes from helping companies preserve jobs and create better workplaces.
We believe that we can have a profound and positive impact on society and culture by focusing our efforts on transforming established companies and giving them the tools and the insights to make them enduring institutions. Though it sometimes still feels like a Sisyphean task to help companies systematically innovate, we are starting to see the first institutions produce promising results. We won’t rest until a large majority of established organizations become innovation engines.