Successful disruption in a digital age

While you are still struggling to wrap your head around the buzz of Big Data and trying to develop a digital strategy for your business, here’s news for you: It’s not the hype of Big Data, or digitalization, or social media that characterizes those who are on today’s winning team. It’s not about digital strategies – it’s strategy in a digital age:

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This was the most retweeted phrase of the entire session, delivered by McKinsey speakers at the Salesforce Speed of Change city tours across the Nordic capitals.

When you evaluate the steps needed to win in today’s fast changing markets and business environments, it becomes clear that your company must focus on what you are really providing. Not what you think you are selling, but what your customers need to fulfill a basic need. Regardless of whether you are in B2B, in B2C or a government or non profit organization, take it one step further and you can learn from the winners of the past.

Remember the Maslow pyramid of basic human needs? Try to match them against the game changing technologies we see today, and you will see that the main driver behind change is not technology itself but what it can do for you.

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The privileged among us are catered for at the bottom of the pyramid. That’s when  “social” takes over.

The success formula behind all social networks is not that they deliver an app to your mobile device. As Martha Bennett from Forrester suggested during the Speed of Change Nordic City Tour: “You sell the outcome not the device or the service”.  Social networks have changed the way we do business, the way we connect in our professional and private lives, and the way machines and devices are connecting simply because they use data to fulfill the needs at the top of the pyramid. Through the mining of this data technology – by making your data speak –  vendors and disrupters in the digital world  provide a sense of belonging, help us to gain respect for our achievements and put ourselves at the centre. Which – by the way – is why we manage to survive from the moment we are born and make the first fierce cryout for food and comfort.

There are many examples of industry or market disrupters but despite being disruptive in their day, they do not necessarily survive and thrive, as competitors catch up and technology evolves to create new patterns of behaviour in business processes. If you look at the companies that have changed an industry, such as how media is consumed or how basic grocery goods and services are delivered, they successfully disrupted because they catered to a basic human need.

So what is your strategy in a digital age? Disrupt, reinvent, adapt – or be disrupted.** It’s as simple, or complicated, as that.

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One thought on “Successful disruption in a digital age

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