As business leaders our results impact more than our families, employees and customers. In a recent USA Today article America’s fastest shrinking Cities, the demographic realities are impacting cities and businesses alike. The U.S. population is increasing at a deceasing rate, just 0.82% in 2013 with the domestic birth rate at a multi-decade low. Immigrants are less attracted to the US with immigration down 30% from 2001 levels. Manufacturing has declined in the US 30% between 2001 and 2013 while employment in this category is down 57%. This has had devastating results in communities that focused on manufacturing like steel and automobile industries.
The US has shifted to services making up 80% of the US economy. 90% of companies with less than 20 people are in the service industry. Dave Gray suggests in his book The Connected Company, that product saturation, information technology and urbanization are driving the move to services.
As business leaders we need to anticipate and react to change. The options for passing the corporate baton to the next team is different than that of even 10 years ago. The transaction is less focused on bricks, mortar, and equipment that produces, but on the intellectual horsepower of your team. Investing in your team and turning them into owners is critical to your sustainability and future. The fact of the matter is they walk out the door at the end of every day and your company must offer them something the others can’t or won’t so they walk in again tomorrow. We are all in this together. If we fail our community fails and vice –a- versa.