This year was the first year for Eastman Kodak to exit the Fortune 500.  Its high point was sitting at number 18 during the mid-1990s.  This year it slid to number 562 (“Chartist” Fortune, May 20, 2013, p. 22).

Kodak is not the only significant slide in recent years.  Black and Decker used to be number 106, Bethlehem Steel used to be number 8, and Unisys used to be number 36.  Each one eventually left the 500 club due to changes in strategy, the economy, the industry, or business globalization.

While some companies have been able to stay on top of the mountain for many decades, that alone never guarantees their longevity.  Decisions involving leadership, marketing, and strategy are made fresh daily.  Yesterday’s decisions do not necessarily have relevance today.  The future will demand fresh decisions.

No company is immune to these dynamics.  No company comes with any guarantees.  Every company—if it wants to survive and thrive—must strategically engage its new world every single day.

About James Meadows

Currently I serve as a training team manager for Johnson Controls at a customer-care center in Kansas City. Additionally, I am a business consultant, a freelance corporate writer, an Assembly of God ordained minister, a Civil Air Patrol chaplain, and a blogger. I believe we are living in the most fascinating times of human history. To maximize the opportunities these times present, I have a passionate interest in leadership development and organizational success, both of which I view as inextricably linked.

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