In 2000, Fortune released its annual list of the 500 largest companies in America. The top 25 in the Fortune 500, held familiar names like Blockbuster and Kmart. Just ten years later, when Fortune released its 2010 Fortune 500 list, two-thirds of those companies in the top 25 fell off the list. Jason Jennings believes he knows why. In, The Reinventors: How Extraordinary Companies Pursue Radical Continuous Change, Jason presents the results of his time studying 22,000 articles and interviewing 100 companies. Jennings proposes that the best companies are “reinventors,” they achieve continuous growth by embracing constant change.
Jennings presents some essential “reinvention rules,” for making organizations into reinventors: Commit to a Culture of Change, Get Your People on the Same Page, Change Frugally (counterintuitive but my favorite chapter). Jennings also presents eight “reinvention killers” including ego, conventional wisdom and a sense of entitle meant. Jennings presents some clear strategies and includes profiles of “reinventors” like Starbucks, Southwest Airlines and Smithfield Foods. The study of Smithfield is particularly interesting (spoiler alert: the got sued and eventually hired the man who sued them).
Much of material Jennings presents can be found elsewhere, however Jennings does a masterful job blending these strategies with research and case studies to support them. Overall, The Reinventors is a roadmap for bringing continuous change to your organization.