Nicole Yershon
DIFFERENT RULES
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NYC ARTICLES

Turning Disruption To Advantage

What Is Disruption Anyway?

It's that disturbance or problem which can interrupt an event, activity, or process. That's according to the dictionary anyway. And people let it happen. The trick is getting out ahead of it and being prepared. Well, that's the hard part. And we are just as focussed on the advantage part. So here's a check list of what we think it takes.

In a world where strategy lasts about a week the best strategy is to be prepared.

Being Prepared — The Pillars

  1. The Continuously Changing Story We Tell Key Audiences. Continuous change means perpetually relevant and dynamic. Dynamic because it needs to be individual to the 7 Billion potential customers and sympathetic that the consumer often doesn’t know what they need — only what they currently want. The story and the promises we make need to be fully representative of the various aspects and unique points of view of the business given that that also changes on a daily basis.
  2. The Collection & Usage Of The Most Advantageous Information (& Data) Getting access to the right data. Data that exists inside and outside the business from all the touch points — call centres, partners, website and apps etc. From that building the picture of the consumer, their profile, their behaviours and all legitimate intelligence. This gives the business the appropriate insight required for all further business decisions.
  3. The Culture Of Continuous Learning & Development. The serious business leader knows that everyone needs to be appreciative of the strategy. The smart leaders will translate what it actually means in plain terms for everyone in the business. That means knowing the future as well as can be and continuously developing and enhancing the core proposition, products and operational capability to match.
  4. The Ability To Market The Business — Marketing is an exciting new opportunity but only if you completely rethink what it means to do marketing. The omnichannel requires the skills and creativity of a ninja, a technological heavyweight and the mind of a killer media planner. It means knowing how to think about the consumer in and doing the math to both know and create markets.
  5. The Thinking Skills Required To Stay In Business #1 — This capability cuts across points 1–4. It is the core DNA of the business and is the heart, soul and mind of the 2020 business. It will be what creates the Indispensability — the unique spirit of the company. How to differentiate by being distinctive and having real utility.
*What is the one app that stays on the front screen of your smartphone. What is the default category killer application that solves for the main business processes — EG: Salesforce, Xero, DoubleClick. What is the brand name that you instinctively choose in any area of your life. Mercedes Benz, Apple, Singapore Airlines — it means using all the intelligence gatherable through the above and building that indispensable position through thinking and crafting the business of excellence and properly and consistently serving the customer

6. The Ability To Build and Manage Relationships — No business in the future will build everything it needs to operate in house. It is already on the wane. (Github/Xero/Etc) It would be foolish and highly unlikely (without the unique business case) to garner investment. The 2020 business will be able to leverage its alliances and partners as if they are within the same business.

7. A Fully Capable & Extensible Organisation — Providing an enabling infrastructure. That means the best and most relevant platforms and technologies, resources and partnerships to win — to create the athletic organisation. One that is designed for humans and new technologies to cohabit. We need to appreciate that technologies interest very few people — it’s what they can do for us that anyone cares about.

We understand fully (or as much as we need to) what AI, ML, RPA and the plethora of other words and acronyms can do for us. It’s enormous.

8. Genuine Leadership — Ensuring inspiration, followership, loyalty, trust and sincere contributions with the right rewards and motivation. Creating meaningful accountabilities and compliance at every level and in every sense. Navigating all of the possibilities and knowing which to say yes or no to.

9. Attracting and Sustaining The Capability — Creating the business that will ensure the right talent exists or wants to be associated with the plan. Managing the talent lifecycle from knowing what capability is required through to being able to reduce the workforce when required.

10. The Seamless/Streamlined Interoperation — The 2020 business is not a silo’d or traditional pyramid structure of command and control. It is likely to be based far more on networks and ecosystems of talent working in motivated ways. This means processes and systems also have to work that way and allow for collaboration and also single-minded experiences for the consumer to pass uninterrupted through them. This means coordination and alignment of all of the components of the business right across the organisation (collaboration and communications as well as the connectivity and knowledge flows)

11. The Ability To Keeping Ahead Of ALL The Curves — Always being prepared with the correct radar and sensors of what is likely to happen next and staying learning, being constantly and obsessively interested about the new. Creating new knowledge.

12. The Ability To Know At All Times — Whether registering shifts in existing business operations and demands or supplies or measuring the changes in impacts of certain treatments and messages in the marketing of a new product.

What It Takes To Shape

  • An intimate understanding of the what the business is currently capable of across all departments.
  • A very clear sense of where it dreams of going. Its purpose and intentions.
  • A competent leadership team and deep enough expertise across all those executives who will make it happen.
  • A transformation plan — and that means digital transformation.
  • Courage!
John CaswellComment