Staying Ahead of Disruptive Business Models
Executives in a growing number of industry spaces are beginning to ask many 'What if?' sorts of question.
Their teams are modeling revenue projections, supply chains and technology risks against a bevy of influences brought on by new technology and new business competitors whose aims are as disruptive as they are ambitious.
Take the case of Amazon.com, which has over the past couple decades gone from asking whether any of us had bought a single book online to exploring more and more industry markets ripe for innovation, disruption or outright reinvention. It's just one of a number of large global companies whose future growth may rest on its ability to bring change to the customers your organisation may have served for decades.
This "Amazon effect" threatens to redraw long established lines in the sand between bricks-and-mortar competitors in numerous segments of the increasingly global, interconnected digital economy.
Also, consider, for just a moment, how the backers and innovators around Bitcoin and Etherium are working to disrupt global financial transactions and the very concept of currency as we have known it all of our lives. The truth is when innovators see weakness, they seek to exploit it to their advantage.
So what do these disruptive forces mean for your executive career, and your company today?
The immediate calling is to learn how the most innovative of today's companies are trying to change the game and where they are putting their focus, and why. It likely is not enough to keep tabs on how your own industry is changing.
More and more, the onus on global executives is to understand who the players are, the forces they are bringing to bear on traditional business models and the effect they are having in terms of customer engagement. If you're regularly reading The Wall Street Journal, that's one thing. But the kind of change you may need to learn more about may likely require perusing more than the traditional business media.
Just ask people in your own network. Ask some of your own up-and-coming colleagues. Maybe even ask your company's next generation leaders, including some millennial-aged workers. Chances are you're going to hear more and more about Blockchain, a decentralised ledger to secure online transactions.
Getting to know as much as you can about how companies and economies are shifting - while remaining focused on your executive day job - will likely provide you an advantage when new innovators come knocking on your door or perhaps when one of your own employees puts forth an intriguing business idea.
The deeper you can go on market's potential disruptors, the more you can identify key market adjacencies and white space, and the more you can remain open-minded about potential competitors, the better prepared you will be to adjust to new threats and seize on new business opportunities.
"Get ready for change" isn't just another corporate adage. It may be a prescription for insulating you and your organisation from the disruption that may lie ahead.
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