Averting “Active Inertia” as a CEO

By on June 6, 2016

In a world where the fast trump the slow you want to be able to avert “active inertia” (coined by Dr. Donald Sull, Senior lecturer at MIT Sloan School of Management), which is busily doing business the old successful way at the risk of being blind-sided by a new positively disruptive approach. Averting this you also avert being are part of the “topple rate”, the speed at which big companies lose their leadership status in the market.

A 2010 Deloitte study showed the topple rate doubled between 1965-2009. It also found C-suite execs topple rate is moving at an increasingly rapid rate. It concludes nearly every advantage gained is shown to be temporal.

The faster more competitive less predictable world

The world is more competitive, it changes faster and far less predictable. The established status quo businesses are more and more vulnerable to being challenged and superceded.

The Disrupted Legacy’s

Reid Hoffman, cofounder, executive chair of LinkedIn and billionaire, believes the long terms effects of globalization and tech revolution are “under hyped”. He said:

“Once great companies are falling more frequently and more quickly than in times past…the forces of competition and change that brought  down Detroit are global and local. They threaten every business, every industry, every city.”

For example, the Firestone tire legacy was surpassed by the radial tire design. Even if you are a successful disruptive you could be out-paced by the next revolutionary approach.

Kodak had 170,000 employees and sold 85% of all photo paper worldwide in 1997. They went bankrupt within a few years. What happened to Kodak can happen in a lot of industries in the next 10 years – and most people don’t see it coming. My father, who was a personnel manager/human resource manager for Kodak in the 80’s, felt a lack of openness and awareness of threats and new possibilities from the leadership team at that time. Eventually, active inertia caught up with them.

Other examples include Microsoft being trumped by Apple in personal computing. Facebook starting to edge over Google, Flip cameras being trumped by the smartphone video technology.

Dr. Robert Goldman, Antiaging & Sports Medicine Pioneer, believes it will now happen with artificial Intelligence, health, autonomous and electric cars, education, 3D printing, agriculture and jobs. He said:

“Welcome to the 4th Industrial Revolution. Welcome to the Exponential Age. Software will disrupt most traditional industries in the next 5-10 years. Uber is just a software tool, they don’t own any cars, and are now the biggest taxi company in the world. Airbnb is now the biggest hotel company in the world, although they don’t own any properties.” 

The key skill requirement for creating, anticipating and responding to revolution

Constant change is the status quo and responding to revolution, or being the revolution, is the key skill required for progressing in today’s age. The key to developing this skill is having greater awareness. The goal is to be the CEO who has the greater awareness to create the new positively disruptive way, rather than be a victim of it.

If we haven’t developed our awareness enough to be superfluid, alert and settled we are less likely to perceive and roll with the changes required, to pivot from our old success formulas before they become outdated and we are at risk being left in the dust.

Developing greater awareness gives you a revolutionary business disruptor superpower

Having the good fortune to have the right skills, the right character, the right position, doing the right work, solving the right problem at the right time with the right people, and then knowing how long to hang with it until it’s time to catch the next wave of revolution is the CEO superpower of this era. This requires a super alert yet smart, settled and determined awareness and mindset.

Sheryl Sandberg, the world’s most successful female executive, must have this superpower in spades to go from US Treasury to Google to Facebook in a decade or so. She must have, consciously or unconsciously, developed an awareness that allows her to have more the right thoughts at the right time and connect the dots/data faster going forward when it comes to business.

The prime mover behind soft and hard skills

Both soft skills (mindset, relationship and people skills) plus hard skills (structural, technical and execution skills) are essential to monetize anything these days. Soft skills are what develop as we evolve as people and leaders and hard skills are the strategy’s we use to position and project the value of our soft skills into the world. So what is the prime mover behind these that allows us further develop and integrate them together?

It is having a developed enough awareness to be able to perceive what is really going on and how best to position and project yourself to be the revolutionary, or at least, in the flow of revolution.

When you have highly developed Global Alpha brain functioning (something all world class business leaders, athletes and musicians loads of) you have an awareness that creates simplicity out of complexity, picks up on what is truthful (truth will always triumphs in the end) and is able to create unity admits differences.

Beyond the mind, intellect, intuition and gut feelings

When we talk about awareness with our top CEO clients, we’re not just talking about the mind, intellect, intuition or gut feelings. We’re talking about something beyond these, the primary driving source behind these. When you develop this source level of awareness and energy these mental faculties become even sharper and more integrated and complete. This source level of awareness is something we spent collectively over 25 years full-time understanding, developing and knowing how to utilize for revolutionary results, good fortune under all market conditions and leadership reign longevity in good health for CEOs.

Here’s how one client describes it.

“I really enjoy these calls, they’re really powerful and bring me back to a place where I need to be.

The calls add a lot of balance to my awareness of the holistic values for thinking and action that I can lose sight of in my business. It tunes me up, with more focus and awareness. Things get broken down on the call so I become clearer about my situation.

The value of what you guys are doing is always unfolding, and becomes more and more valuable. The calls re-orientate my thinking to not think along the same lines, that’s the value, it’s huge”.

Stuart Baesel, Partner Labor Lawyer, Atlanta, GA USA

Cultivating Revolutionary CEO Awareness

We believe continual development of higher awareness is the cornerstone of CEO human capital, and the foundation from which all revolutionary strategizing, results, good fortune in any market conditions and longevity of leadership in good health (mentally, emotionally and physically) comes from.

Without developing more awareness you’re more likely to be at the whim of revolutionary changes and have your legacy disrupted.

Why not become the highly developed, super aware & revolutionary CEO who is the one strategizing and leading the changes?


By Raamon Newman, Founder/CEO New Mavericks

If you’re a CEO interested in averting active inertia, so you’re not part of the topple rate, and more interested in how you can cultivate greater revolutionary CEO awareness and strategizing for more revolutionary results, good fortune and leadership longevity in good health then please feel free to reach out by shooting me a private message at support@newmavericks.com to set up a time to talk further.


About Raamon Newman

New Mavericks Founder, Executive Development Adviser Raamon is an executive development advisor with 15 years experience working with top CEO’s and executives in New Zealand, Australia, US and Europe. He is a founding Managing Partner and CEO of Raam Global Consulting who provide executive development and support in the form of enlightened leadership made simple to leaders in such companies as EBOS Group (largest medical supply company in Australasia), Oliver’s Real Food’s (Australia’s fastest growing fresh fast food franchise), Woodmart, Feedback ASAP, Retail Holdings Ltd, The O’Halloran Group, Labor Lawyers, Novartis, Warner Group, IRTH Communications, Hawthorne Direct, Natel, Buttoned-Up and Turner Manufacturing-Kleenrite.