What is the best way to "plan for disruption?"

(Wait, isn't that an oxymoron?!)

A client proclaimed to me recently:  "Laura, you know, the way forward has to be digital." As a small business owner she's realizing - albeit a little later than others - that digital is a force to be reckoned with. 

Many large organizations have recognized the power of digital for years but it is only recently that "disruption" has become an accepted topic of conversation in Corporate Committee Meetings. 

Why? Because "digital disruption" is no longer a buzzword. It's real, and it's causing organizations to change not only the way they go to market, but their function from the inside out. It's no longer a passive "our industry is being disrupted by technology" observation but becoming more about how brands can proactively change their impact. 

At yesterday's "Digital or Die" event here in Minneapolis, renowned writer Brian Solis shared his thoughts on the importance of planning for disruption - not just to gain advantage, but in some business cases (such as T-Mobile) - essential for survival. 

  • "Take others point of view and add it to your own." This combo of the Henry Ford and Dale Carnegie wisdom is a reminder not only to acquire audience insight but have it drive your strategy. Some, like Chinese phone company Xiaomi creates new features on request from their audience (then loudly promotes them) or others such as Target are getting laser focused about perfection in the mandatories of experience (such as fully stocked shelves) in addition to the other experience "frills" that are so important to brand definition. 
  •  "Think 10 years ahead." Capital One's acquisition of renowned UX agency Adaptive Path sent shockwaves around the financial services and marketing sectors. Why? Because a financial services organization has realized that owning digital experience will be the key to winning the digital wallets of all generations moving forward. 
  • "Baby steps - good. Shortcuts - not so much." Planning and executing "disruption" can mean changing business models, org structures, vendor relationships, budgets, authority assumptions - it touches every piece of your company. Make the mistake of skimming the surface, and the experience cracks (e.g. whether with supply chain not fulfilling a brand promise) will soon show to your customers.
  • "Reinvent what happens in your customer's moment of truth with your brand." Planning for disruption is overwhelming. But, if you can zero in on the most important moments your audience has with your brand and transform those - you can win trust and loyalty. 

Disruption is not to be feared. It's an exciting wave of momentum that is combining organizational potential with audience demands. It's only going to get more intensive. 

If you want to learn about how to get your company ahead of digital "disruption" we'd love to talk with you. You can reach us here