Originally wrote this back in 2010, but with news of Blockbuster selling, and Borders shutting down stores—to name a few recent example of business disruption... I thought it would be worth re-visit.
Over the last two years, businesses have tightened belts, cut spending and some have gone out of business altogether due to the economy. But there is another threat that many organizations face which will likely remain, even as the cycle of recession begins to fade - disruption. Many business models are simply not disruption proof.
The media industry has been turned upside down partially as a result of technologies which empower anyone to act like a journalist. Newspapers have seen their classified cash cows cannibalized by free or low-cost services such as Craigslist. Web designers who once charged premium fees for their services now compete with Wordpress or other do-it-yourself services. The music industry has been upended, with record stores going out of business as a result of the iTunes ecosystem and digital file swapping.
The advertising industry has been thrown into chaos by technology which empowers the consumers to skip over ads and demand value in place of messaging.
Disruption fueled by technology, such as a younger generation that lives more digitally, and other global trends will force businesses to re-assess how they spend media dollars and influence the creation of new products and services. This will gradually trickle down into every facet of an organization, forcing changes in job descriptions, demands and skills. In an effort to become a disruption-proof business, brands and organizations will need to become more connected and in tune with their customers, employees and partners than ever before.
Disruption-proof businesses will need to become better at predicting possible outcomes and adapting quickly to changes in their environment before their business models become disrupted. Listening tools and “real-time” focus groups on social networks will make meaning from the data. These will become increasingly essential for enabling an organization to stay informed, while internally they will improve how their own employees share information and collaborate.
In 2010 2011 and beyond, technologies and the human behavior it influences will continue to disrupt — but organizations who learn to adapt quickly will thrive.