In the modern corporate sphere, many companies aim to be disruptive, while others say they are without actually being it. A disruptive company is looking for unprecedented business opportunities and is able to react to change in a positive way, to something entirely new that breaks paradigms inside and outside the company. It’s not just about making one’s offer digital; this is about a 360-degree transformation.
Talking about disruption necessarily requires taking into account its implications, given the complexity of the term. For example, a large company that seeks to replace its current business model by a different one characterized by disruption needs to be aware that this won’t be a simple process. The complexity of that transition, especially its transmission to employees, may imply an important initial challenge.
Changing a business model requires people who are ready to collaborate, who have a remarkable adaptability and a willingness to learn new technological processes and mechanisms in addition to their usual protocols. Eventually, the right technology will be ready and you will find the people who know how to implement it, but convincing work teams that this is beneficial for them, however uncomfortable they may feel at that moment, is the most complicated part and a point of failure in many organizations. Regardless of the great and “innovative” ideas they have, they will face internal barriers at the company, as well as people who are going to ask: “If we have always done that this way and it has yielded results, why change the recipe?” Understandably, a company cannot change its business model constantly. Therefore, larger companies usually test initiatives in a controlled environment by performing a pilot run to assess latent risks related to the market launch of products or services.
Vision, leadership and a new business model are the basics to accommodate disruption. However, innovation and creativity have exerted considerable pressure in current times, characterized by facing a constant battle to identify genuine disruption. Faced with this threat, a considerable number of companies commit to travel the path of disruption in the best possible way by creating entire areas or departments to research and develop new ideas (R&D). In that sense, part of the process includes establishing the criteria required to evaluate the viability of every initiative and its chances for success once it has been launched on the market, to be able to select the projects that are worth investing in.
A great example of organizations that were able to tackle the resolution of their issues are mobility platforms. They have created a new perception of what personal transport means, redefining and eliminating old paradigms of how business can benefit society by exploring new niches, which are an added value.
On the other hand, we know companies that claim to rely on disruption through their practices, but actually are not disruptive. In the automotive industry, electromobility has opened the way to a more sustainable and clean era, but are its industry leaders actually disruptive? This proposal is controversial, although it made the electric car an extremely attractive option in terms of speed and aesthetics. However, other models and systems, such as the hybrid engine, also solved the problem inherent to this type of car, which is environmental care. It is important to mention that organizations with such a profile are part of innovation. Despite the fact that they redefined an existing idea, the nature of the product preserves its original essence.
Finally, it is essential to keep in mind that the viability of disruptive models will be subject, to a large extent, to the impulse or, failing that, to the deterioration caused by external factors. Achieving genuine disruption is not a simple process, it involves dealing with issues and elements that have never been addressed before and need to be integrated in our daily routine. It is our duty to adjust business systems to this vision and to transfer our knowledge to what we may — or may not — expect from the process, which is the only way to lead our communities towards a true transformation, a new wave of disruptive changes.