Secrets of business success in new ISO standard

The average lifespan of businesses is shrinking, yet some have been around for hundreds of years. How to stay afloat in a rapidly changing world? A newly published standard aims to help.

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Por Clare Naden
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By 2027, the average company on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (S&P 500) – an index of 505 stocks issued by 500 large companies with market capitalizations of at least USD 6.1 billion – will last just 12 years, according to the 2018 Corporate Longevity Forecast1). New technologies, economic shocks, disruptive competitors and failure to adequately anticipate and prepare for future challenges are the key reasons cited for their demise.

The freshly published ISO 9004, Quality management – Quality of an organization – Guidance to achieve sustained success, divulges the secrets and strategies of some of the longest lasting businesses around the world to help other organizations prepare for such challenges, optimizing their performance at the same time.

Charles Corrie, Secretary of the ISO committee that developed the standard, said it is about helping organizations not only survive, but achieve “sustained success”.

“Often business failure is due to not adapting to changes in the market, competition or new technologies effectively,” he said.

“ISO 9004 draws on the strategies, best practice and experience of some of the most successful businesses around the world to provide guidance for any business, regardless of size or genre. This includes how to anticipate future challenges and how to achieve a higher level of performance along the way.”

The standard is a revised version of ISO 9004:2009, building on previous guidance to help organizations improve their overall performance by releasing the full potential of their quality management system.

It will help organizations move to the next level beyond ISO 9001 (quality management systems) by addressing topics such as the alignment and deployment of strategy, policy and objectives within the broader context of the organization’s vision, mission, values and culture.

ISO 9004 was developed by technical committee ISO/TC 176, Quality management and quality assurance, subcommittee SC 2, Quality systems, whose secretariat is held by BSI, ISO’s member for the UK. It is available from your national ISO member or through the ISO Store.

1) Innosight

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