Subject: Disruptor or Disruptee? Notes from CEO Coffee Meeting 25/09/2018
What did the related Chairman's Network Digital Disruption event at Harvey Nash discuss 2 weeks ago?
- Typically the Board's/shareholder's financial imperative will override the degree of investment and change required
- Disruption can be
- Macro, or business model
- Micro, or operating model
- The Board cannot afford to stand still
What do we mean by digital disruption?
- Technological change ranges from minor functional enhancements to a restructured (often low cost) industry platform
- Industry examples - Uber for taxis; Monzo, the app-based bank
- Operations example - the Slack app, for improved communication
- Impact - in Switzerland, some people are being paid not to work
- Should the propensity for being disrupted be put as a risk on annual reports?
How far ahead should (and can) we look? Responses included:
- Innovation on an industry level is 'an impossibility' (assuming a typical financial imperative)
- Startups and/or very large innovation budgets are the likely source of disruption
- We should be flexible and responsive rather than over-emphasise strategy and planning
As an example technology, how could 3D printing affect you or your business?
- Teenagers would like to design and print their own trainers at home (see Nike, Adidas et al); awaiting printer cost reduction
- Highly responsive prototyping is available now on a wide range materials
- Other technologies include artificial intelligence, robotics, autonomous vehicles, etc.
How should CEOs, and Boards, take full account of disruption?
- Decide which technologies are relevant to your industry and business and watch them closely
- Consider your reaction capability
- Consider how frequently you should be discussing strategy
- To be a disruptor, fund free thinking at the micro and/or macro level
- Major disruption may take major funding and long term payback times
- Most organisations will fare best through watching closely and reacting quickly
John Bickell is a Member and Host of our CEO Group and runs a consultancy specialising in growth strategies and their execution.
He can be contacted on 07801 824115 E-Mail firstname.lastname@example.org
and via www.chairmansnetwork.com