How winning organisations last 100 years.

The idea for the Radically Traditional study came from some work we were doing with UK Sport, the funding body for the British Olympic teams, to understand how they’d improved their performance over the last 20 years.

They talked us through their transformation, but questioned its sustainability. We asked them who they thought they could learn from. They said, “The arts, they’ve been doing this for hundreds of years.” So, we contacted the Royal Academy of Music, the Royal College of Art and the Royal Shakespeare Company - and the research began.

Uncover the secrets of seven successful Centennials:

Our findings

Over five years we studied how seven Centennials have managed to outperform their peers for 100 years. Despite different vocations, we found that they are all very similar to each other and behave in ways that defy conventional wisdom. While most organisations focus on growth, cost, customers, competitors, and secrets — the Centennials don’t. Instead, they try to get better not bigger, are intentionally inefficient, shape society, learn from everyone, and share their stories with the world.

They’re Radically Traditional. With a stable core – purpose, stewardship, and openness. But disruptive edge – experts, nervousness, and accidents.

And that’s what keeps them ahead.

The Stable Core

The Centennials start by stabilising their core – to safeguard what they stand for and stay on track.


Shape Society

So people support you and talent wants to work with you.

Engage Future Talent

To stay alive and relevant to the world.



Stabilise Stewards

To stabilise influence, knowledge, and decision making.

Manage Handovers

So nothing gets lost along the way.



Create Challenge

So that everyone performs at their best.

Share Stories

So others trust and learn from you.

The Disruptive Edge

Whilst stabilising their core, the Centennials keep waves of disruption crashing at their edge – to stay fresh and get better.


Bring The Outside In

To bring the best ideas from everywhere.

Use World’s Best Talent

To stay at your cutting edge



Get Better, Not Bigger, Every Day

To not get distracted or lose control.

Unpick Success And Failure

To codify what works.



Live Like A Family

To share problems, ideas and opportunities.

Create Bumps

To find new ideas and practices.

Perform like a Centennial

We shared our research insights with 500+ leaders from 80+ successful organisations - including:

We wanted to see what they could learn from the Centennials. As a result, we’ve developed a free 15-minute self-assessment to help you understand how you can sustain success like a Centennial.

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Using high performance insights to develop a stronger and more robust UK economy, society and environment.

Read our HBR article How Winning Organizations Last 100 Years