The Myths of Disruption and Change

Why in business we need a more sophisticated approach to appreciating the impact of digital technologies

The Myths Around Disruption

Given all the column inches and social media mentions dedicated to disruption you’d be forgiven for thinking that it was all around us. Yet the latest IBM Global C-suite Study (based on research with more than 12,500 CxOs worldwide, including 2,000+ CEOs) demonstrated a more refined picture of the reality of disruption but also more specifically where the C-Suite now see as its source.

The Nuance of Change

It’s true, I think, that many things around us are changing quite profoundly, and faster than ever before. But not everything changes. Narratives about accelerating change are far from new but it’s lazy thinking to think that this applies to all contexts. More than this, it can also be dangerous if this then causes us to be distracted or overly tactical, or to pursue shiny technologies with questionable value. As Jeff Bezos once said:

Responding to this More Nuanced Picture of Change

It’s clear that organisations need to think smarter about potential sources of disruption but also how they can shape their organisations to be more adept at responding to it when it happens or even before it happens. Increasingly, I’m finding that it’s useful to think about the impact of change more in terms of heightened unpredictability. And the ability of businesses to re-orient themselves to becoming far better at rapid adaptation.

  • Strong alignment between IT and business strategy in order to deliver the technology infrastructure and foundation to optimise business processes and support new strategies
  • Redirection of resources towards deriving new scaled value from ecosystems and networks of partners, a willingness to explore opportunities for co-creation with partners and customers
  • An ability to derive exceptional value from data and analytics to inform business strategy, to support prototyping and fast feedback loops, to successfully iterate innovative products and services, and to build compelling customer experiences
  • Investment in and attention to developing people and leadership skills, structures and culture to support and empower greater experimentation and adaptiveness

Building The Agile Business

Thoughts on organisational agility and digital transformation in support of the book (April 2017, Kogan Page)

neilperkin

Written by

Author of Building the Agile Business. Founder of Only Dead Fish. Curator of Google Firestarters.

Building The Agile Business

Thoughts on organisational agility and digital transformation in support of the book (April 2017, Kogan Page)