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The Lean Learning Center reviews organizations that have embraced change and stood the test of time.

In our article about the importance of innovation and creativity to an organization’s success, we discussed the average lifespan of an S&P 500 company: The average lifespan has declined from 61 years in 1955 to 18 years in 2014. However, not all company lifespans are getting smaller… Some companies are displaying remarkable staying power, celebrating over 100 years in existence.

DiscussionCompanies over 100 years old:

1802 DuPont and Company
1806 Colgate-Palmolive Company
1837 Procter & Gamble
1866 Sherwin-Williams
1872 Kimberly-Clark Corp.
1876 Eli Lilly and Company
1883 PPG Industries
1886 Johnson & Johnson
1888 Libbey Inc.
1888 Hubbell Inc.
1894 The Hershey Company
1896 Tootsie Roll Industries
1898 Goodyear Tire & Rubber
1899 Timken Company
1902 3M Company
1903 Harley-Davidson Motor Company
1903 Ford Motor Company
1903 Anderson Corporation
1905 Ingersoll RAND Company
1906 Xerox
1911 IBM Corporation
1911 Whirlpool Corporation
1913 Clorox Company

Why, then, do some companies grow while others cease to exist? Are there characteristics in common among organizations that last? We would like to suggest that the answer is YES. Companies that stand the test of time are able to do so because they change with the times. When it comes to modernization, it’s either adapt or say goodbye!

“Having a product or service that continues to adapt to the needs of customers is paramount to making a company successful in the long term,” says Michael Zinsser, a partner in the Boston consulting group.

A key part of fostering innovation within an organization is the ability to engage and empower the workforce. When employees feel good about the work they do they believe that the firm is investing in them, as well as providing opportunities to contribute to the organization success. We find those companies that are able to create that loyalty and engagement are able to withstand a lot of external shocks and work together to keep the business going.

The Lean Learning Center is proud to note that at least eight of the companies over 100 years old are also our clients. We can help any organization foster innovation and creativity. Contact us for more information about how fostering innovation could change the future of your company. 

Lean Learning Center

The Lean Learning Center was founded in 2001 to address the gaps and barriers that are holding back companies from successful and sustainable lean transformation. In addition to the advanced curriculum, the Center has developed a learning environment designed specifically for adult learning utilizing techniques that include discovery simulations, case studies, personal planning, and reflection – ultimately engaging people at a deep and personal level. We bring our unique lean understanding in creative ways to executives, managers, supervisors, change agents and front-line employees.

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