Disrupt Yourself or Someone Else Will

Blockbuster video rental shop closing down, due to disruption by Netflix
Blockbuster failed to anticipate the switch to video streaming services, unlike Netflix who had started out as a mail order provider.

As an established business leading in your market, you may see yourself as on top of the world and – for now – you just might be. Whether your rise was meteoric or subtle, it’s absolutely vital never to become too triumphant. Complacency at the top provides ripe opportunities for newcomers to break in and disruptive innovations may emerge which provide the perfect opportunity for your competitors to get the upper hand. To protect your business, become the disrupter yourself.

What is ‘Disruptive Innovation’?

Disruptive innovation is a term which describes a period during a market’s lifetime when a new technology lands and impacts the way that the industry functions. The injection of these new technologies into a market’s nervous system often has an eruptive reaction and is notoriously difficult to plan for. 

It’s difficult to foresee how new tech is going to impact our businesses, but it’s crucial that we do. Take, for example, the Internet and consider how this technology has impacted everything in the business world. One of the industries which felt the squeeze of this disruptive innovation most – and in many ways still does – was the print news media. 

As the news became instantaneous, many papers struggled to keep up and smaller regional papers began closing or becoming subsidiaries of larger organisations. However, those media brands which saw this and understood the change stayed afloat. The way that different brands dealt with the Internet is interesting: some erected paywalls on their online content, some prioritised advertising and some sought reader donations. However, whatever their individual coping method, it was the foresight and adaptation which helped them survive.

Kodak’s Downfall

Back in 2011, former corporate behemoth Kodak fell victim to disruptive technology and dropped two-thirds of its value. Kodak’s fatal error was the organisation’s abject refusal to face up to a developing digital world and understand the implications of burgeoning digital technology. 

They believed that the quality of their film and printing paper would stand the test of time against digital photography which was – at the time – inferior. Kodak’s entire business model was steeped in analogue technology and, as such, a step-change to digital would have been difficult and messy. 

However, that inability to look ahead and understand that digital photography would become the norm was their death knell. The resistance to reinvention would prove terminal for the company; if it had been more agile, had more vision and been braver the business may have gone on to lead the digital space rather than fall victim to it.

The Importance of Disruption

Disruption can be a daunting and intimidating experience for your business, but it’s vital to see this disruption as an opportunity to get ahead rather than being forced to play catch up. When all of the laws your business live by suddenly change, it can lead to total disarray. During this period – if you still don’t fully understand the incoming change – it’s important to seek the advice of a consultant who can help you get on the front foot. 

By working with someone who understands the forthcoming disruption and how to tackle it head-on, you might just be able to disrupt yourself, to turn what can be a disastrous change into a triumph. Adapting can leave you in an even better position than you were before, but knowledge is the key.

Flektion: Helping You Create Value For Your Business

Here at Flektion, we work with businesses to help them improve, develop and become more profitable. With our experience, we know the value of being an agile organisation able to achieve all of its goals. That’s why we provide constructive consultancy services to all of our clients to ensure they can get ahead of the competition and continue to be disruptive.

To find out more, please feel free to contact us today. You can find us at www.flektion.com, call us on +44 (0) 3333 03 4040 or email us at info@flektion.com.