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How to manage the challenges of disruptive innovation

21 December, 2017
Digital leadership challenges
How to manage the challenges of disruptive innovation

Disruption is not only about being proactive to change but being reactive as well; organisations must be agile and need to understand that disruption is a challenge that encompasses the entire business rather than just the IT department.

New technologies require strategic and cultural changes throughout the business. This is where we see management struggling to embrace changes that affect their current work style, it can be difficult to take on more risk and uncertainty.


Management must ensure that the culture they have created can handle change as fast as customer behaviours and markets shift. This is why disruption is a management challenge not an IT challenge. It is not solely about the adoption of new technologies but more about transforming an organisation at it’s very foundations. Embracing the opportunities that technology can provide with dynamic management.


Reflecting on previous trends and opportunities helps guide the way for identifying the new possibilities. Once identified, be ready to implement the necessary changes. 


How can large companies handle disruption?


With established operations and bureaucratic processes, it is understandable that many believe large organisations cannot transform. This is not the case.


Preparation is the key, develop strategies throughout the business and be prepared to let go of current ones that do not allow for flexibility. Although change presents risk and challenges, ignoring opportunities can be detrimental. Kodak serves as reminder why executives should not avoid disruptive technologies, Kodak invested time and resources into their current processes rather than looking to the future, missing out on the wave of digital photography which led to their bankruptcy.


Management should ask themselves a few questions when faced with disruption:


-          What capabilities do we need to realise these opportunities?

-          How can we deal with anchors in our organisation?

-          What leadership changes are required?

-          What are our competitors doing?


Factors affecting responsiveness to disruptive change


A company must be able to implement change and this requires the right resources. When considering resources, we are talking about everyone and everything involved with an organisation from the employees through to the equipment.  The more resources a company has available, the easier it can adapt to change.


All employees must hold true to company values, understanding what your company’s priorities are ensures everyone is on the same page when it comes to opportunities. When it comes to making big changes, it is crucial that everyone understands the reasoning and long-term benefits, management must ensure communication is maintained for this to be done successfully.


Long-term success


When implementing changes associated with digital transformations there will inevitably be challenges faced on the way such as educating and training employees. This is why it is important to choose a partner who is customer-orientated and focused on the success of your business. The Columbus Care team provides lifetime support and will be with you on your journey from the very start. To learn more about how we can help, click here. 


For more insights into disruption, download an excerpt from the book “Disrupt or die”, co-authored by Thomas Honoré, CEO of Columbus A/S.

Categories: Disruption, Digital Transformation, Leadership