Leading Radical Change via Digital Disruption
Digital disruption is a term that’s often associated with startups. Incumbent companies are usually left out of the conversation. However, a recent installment of the McKinsey Podcast explored how incumbents can not only compete with new companies but also lead radical change via digital disruptions in their industries (June 2016, Bradley, Dawson, MacKellar).
Unsurprisingly, the key to paving new paths starts with bold leadership. The bottom line is that responding to digital disruption with innovation solutions involves exceptionally brave choices by management. The reason these moves are so bold is because responding to digital disruption requires acting before action is necessary. Businesses that wait for a problem to emerge as a result of digital disruption and then respond will severely damage their capacity to adequately act on the necessary shifts. This can be difficult because the business case for digital disruption hinges on uncertainties and transformative changes. As such, it can be hard to persuade board members and incumbent executives to shake up the landscape.
However, despite this natural apprehension, to lead change and adequately compete, businesses must be willing to take these steps. This requires an intense level of strategy work and some difficult conversations about how the world is unfolding and what about your business fits within this new landscape. The major takeaway here is companies willing to take these necessary but risky moves have a chance to lead the charge in terms of industry innovation as a response to digital disruption.
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