How do organizations achieve longevity, the kind of longevity that survives long past the founder or any particular leader or leadership team? Professors of business and corporate strategy (which includes me) research and lecture about the goal of long-term “sustained” competitive advantage, driven by grand plans that mesmerize and seduce the most seasoned leaders and leadership teams. On reflection, though, I find that the evidence does not support competitive advantage as a path to longevity. Instead, longevity is based on entrepreneurial thinking and innovation – in exploring ways to adapt corporate and business strategies in response to market, technological, and social and cultural change.
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About the Author
Jim Dewald is the author of Achieving Longevity: How Great Firms Prosper Through Entrepreneurial Thinking. He is the dean of the University of Calgary’s Haskayne School of Business and an associate professor in strategy and entrepreneurship. Prior to entering academe, Jim was active in the Calgary business community as the CEO of two major real estate development companies and a leading local engineering consulting practice, and president of a tech-based international real estate brokerage company.