Stay Ahead of the Game in a Hyper-Disruptive Era

Stay Ahead of the Game in a Hyper-Disruptive Era

Companies and their leaders are bombarded daily with new technologies and threats of direct and indirect disruption. Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, IoT, and robotics are already integrated with many products and services. Although, these technologies are still in their infancy stages. Imagine the disruptive power that these technologies will yield as they mature. Businesses that have already transformed into digital organizations or are making the transition are the ones that can withstand these possible disruptions and can leverage them for a competitive advantage.

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To make this happen, 62% of CEOs have put in a management initiative or transformation program to the business more digital. 

Generally, disruptions help to scale businesses. In essence, it’s like reinventing a business model or entering a new market. Disruptions help to minimize barriers to customers and help to create or expand industry ecosystems. 

We are in the dawn of hyper-disruptive technology. Its driven by the demand and values of consumers, along with the emergence of new technologies and its ecosystems. Today consumers are demanding a better experience at home, in the car, with their customers, friends, away from home, in retail, at eateries, at entertainment venues, etc. To meet these customer experience demands, companies must digitally transform in order to grow at faster than they ever have before. If they don’t, they will fall prey to their more agile competitors.

Here are four things that companies need to focus on to keep up with disruption:


1. Adapt your Business Model

Most businesses are failing to compete in these hyper-changing environments because they are addressing new problems with their existing or past models/processes. Businesses need to think beyond B2B and B2C, and begin to think towards B2T (Internet of Things), and B2A (Artificial Intelligence). 

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A business model has four key areas: Customers, Value Proposition, Capabilities, and Profit. 

  • Customer: Businesses need to reevaluate the channels used to serve their customers. How can you improve your existing channels? Are there any new channels to explore? Leaders must ask themselves, what type of relationships does the business have with customers today, how can it change, what industry segments are the business serving today, and are there any new segments to take on.
  • Value Proposition: Why should a customer choose you? Businesses need to isolate the value they bring to the table. How do you deliver your product or service? What is the quality or your product or service in comparison to industry benchmarks or competitors? Do your consumers care more about cost, quality, environmental impact, etc? What will consumers value next year, in five years, or even in ten years?
  • Capabilities: What type of technology capabilities do you have now? How you can change that to compete with more agility? What type of assets do you have, and how can you leverage them more effectively? What type of people and culture you do have that can help to compete?
  • Profits: what is your pricing model? Fixed? Recurring? Simply, does it need to change to stay competitive?

2. Focus on the Customer Experience

The customer experience is how a customer feels as a whole about a brand. It starts from the time they know about it to every interaction thereafter (sales, service, support, channels, etc). As the customer goes through the journey of experiencing your brand they go through several emotions and feelings. Businesses need to identify these emotions to ensure that they can act upon them to meet the customer’s expectations or to even exceed their expectations. By doing this, businesses will increase consumer loyalty and satisfaction. All this transforms the customer into a brand advocate.

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Today most of the companies do not have a clear view of the responsibility of who owns the customer experience in the business. These companies handle customer experience in silos like marketing, support, sales, and further differentiate them into channels like web, mobile, retain, etc. Because of these silos, customers do not get a similar experience. In essence, the standard is weakened or even lost. Successful companies like Microsoft, Amazon, Hilton, and Delta, who have overcome these silos, added an important role in their companies - the Chief Customer Officer or Chief Engagement Officer.   This role directly reports to the CEO and work across the company divisions and channels to create the same customer experiences across the brand at every customer interaction. They are the single point of control over the customer experience. They nurture the customer centric culture, and also own the responsibility of profit and loss outcomes. According to Gartner, companies are only in the initial stage to understanding the voice of the customer in the customer experience maturity. There is a long way to go. This is a real opportunity for companies to compete in this space.

3. Your Digital Ambition should be Transformation

Many companies still think an ambitious digital goal is solely to optimize and automate their processes. It is a great start, but companies need to focus on a full transformation and not just optimization of processes. Following the Three Box Solution by Professor Vijay, companies must balance optimizing their current business while also innovating for their short-term and long-term future. A Company must invest in its future by investing in innovative initiatives. Through this experimentation, companies will gain clarity in direction which will result in new more efficient and effective business models and opportunities. To achieve this, leaders must selectively leave behind mindsets, processes, and behaviors of that past that do not support the future goals. Although, at the foundation is optimizing your current businesses. Your current business is what will fund your innovative goals for your future. Remember, looking ahead and looking right in front of you have equal importance.

4. Create an Innovation Culture with a Growth Mindset

The most important factor to achieve the things mentioned above is for companies to spend time on creating an innovation culture in the company that starts from the top.  Create a culture centering on a growth mindset. Transform the perception of failure to he viewed as an opportunity to grow. A growth mindset will allow employees to believe that their abilities and intelligence can develop with learning. Encourage challenges as a channel for growth. Encourage a feedback loop for continuous growth. Encourage a passion for trying new things. Leaders must create the time and space for the uncertainty to exist. This will allow a flow of growth opportunities.


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