Ex-lawyer turned relationship coach

The Fosbury Flop

In the 1920s, a company in the American S&P 500 had a lifespan of 67 years. Today, the average lifespan is 15 years.

How come?

Creative destruction.

Big companies are too slow to anticipate or react to new technologies and customer demands. Like supertankers, firms take too long to change direction and the view from the bridge is almost always obscured.

The small and agile are equipped to sail the waves of disruption. But will only survive by staying curious and questioning their course. 

Are you doing the same?

What ideas could breathe new life into your business or smash your livelihood if done by a competitor?

When you find yourself doing the same as the rest, it’s time to pause and reflect.

High-jumper, Dick Fosbury, took a similar approach.

At the start of his athletic career, Dick was a struggling high-jumper. He failed to complete jumps of five feet. 

At least, when he used the dominant high-jump technique of the time. A method Dick always found difficult.

So he began experimenting with other ways of crossing the bar. 

Viewers thought he looked ridiculous. A local reporter even wrote that he looked like “a fish flopping in a boat.”

But Dick’s new technique let him clear higher jumps. So he kept at it. No matter how silly he looked.

Over the course of a few years, Dick perfected his high jump style.

He then won the US Nationals and got into the 1968 Olympics.

There he set an Olympic record and brought home the gold.

By the next Olympic games, almost all of the high jumpers copied Dick’s technique—the Fosbury Flop.

Dick successfully disrupted the entire world of high-jumping by himself.

How will you disrupt your business? 

You better hurry, or someone else will beat you to the flop. And lay your business to rest.

By Jeroen Elsing
Ex-lawyer turned relationship coach