New Year, New Decade, New Website

Happy New Year, and welcome to 2014!

As of 2013, Nevins Consulting has been in business for a decade. Our firm was formally incorporated in March of 2003, and what a wonderful ten-plus years it has been, delivering great work for amazing clients with a growing team of partners. Thank you for being our clients, teachers, colleagues, and friends.

In recognition of our tenth anniversary, we have revamped our website ( so it offers a better description of who we are and what we do. Please let us know what you think of it; you can simply reply to this newsletter.

Looking back over the decade since our founding, it’s incredible how much the world has changed. Consider for a moment that in 2003:

  • "Social networking" happened at offices, playgrounds, restaurants, and malls. There was no Facebook; MySpace had just launched; LinkedIn was a brand-new startup; and Tweeting was for birds.
  • Most of us only used our mobile phones to talk—not text, take photos, send e-mail, or surf the Web. Our beloved iPhones wouldn’t appear for 4 more years, and iPads were still a full 7 years away.
  • If you wanted to watch a TV show after it aired, you probably set your VCR. (Even as late as 2006, fewer than 2% of American homes had a DVR.) Also, we were as likely to listen to music on CDs as MP3 players.
  • Only one Harry Potter movie had hit the theaters. The Pirates of the Caribbean and Twilight film franchises didn’t exist. Daniel Craig was not yet 007, and Robert Downey Jr. wasn’t Iron Man.
  • The Boston Red Sox had not won a World Series for more than 80 years. (Thankfully, order has since been restored to the universe!)

If you were to look at the roster of businesses founded in 2003 that are still in business today, it might be a shorter list than you think. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, fewer than half of all new businesses make it to their fourth birthday, and the average lifespan of a new business is only about eight and a half years. In his award-winning and still relevant book The Living Company (1997), Arie de Geus observed that the average life expectancy of even a large multi-national company is only 40-50 years; amazingly, by 1983 more than a third of the of the Fortune 500 of 1970 had ceased to exist.

We therefore celebrate our 10th anniversary with as much gratitude as pride. Those facts above provide a sober reminder: change is life. If we are not moving forward — as businesses, as leaders, and as people — then we are probably fading away, whether we know it yet or not.

So as we enter this new year, what's in store for you and your team? What are your business (and personal) goals, and do you have a clear plan to achieve them? What old habits do you need to let go of, and what new habits will serve you better in the next ten years? Spend some time taking stock of where you and your organization have come from, where you are, and where you are going, and lead the change you want to lead.

We look forward to exploring the next decade with you, as we all work to be better leaders, leading stronger and more productive teams and organizations.

“Don’t forget until too late that the business of life is not business, but living.”
-- B. C. Forbes