How to convince leadership for the need to disrupt?

I’m sharing three talking points that worked for me in the past to convince to spend on disruption. I hope it will work for you as well.

It’s a transition to secure growth and future, not a replacement. In many people mind, there is a mental model that disruption is something that will bring the current establishment (company) to an end and will create anarchy. This mental model is valid if other players enforce the disruption, but it is wrong if you are the initiator. You should put time and effort to change this mental model. In reality, disruption creates a transition. Slowly there will be a shift from the current establishment to a new one. The new company will be built over time, and therefore no anarchy will take place. Yes. Eventually, one company will die, and the other will take over. Disruption is a slow transition, not a sudden event.

If we don’t do it, someone else will do it for us. The barrier to getting into the market with new business and new offerings is very minimal. With platforms that turn compute and storage into commodities, you can set up minimal footprint and pay more as you collect more revenues from your services. In this business environment, many people will come with new ideas and implement them. One of those two guys that sit in a garage right now will be the company that will disrupt you. Why? Because it is easy, simple and cheap? Yes! But the main reason is that they don’t have any shackles or existing mental model. They are free to innovate and come with Ideas that will disrupt you and others (but we care about you!). If you don’t create an equivalent environment to at least a small group in the organization, you are preventing from the company fair competition. Do you want consciously to create barriers for your company success?

We are not disrupting ourselves; we disrupt the industry. This one should touch executive mental model — the need to beat the competition. I would start with this one. Disruption is needed first and foremost to achieve market domination. Disruption not just impacting your company, it affects the entire industry. The first one to disrupt has a competitive advantage, a huge competitive advantage. If he is using his advantage right, he will dominate the market for several years. Investing in disruption at least provides an opportunity to dominate a market. If you do not try, nothing will be happened for sure (and then someone will do it for you).

History will repeat itself. Kodak, Nokia, Xerox. The list is very long! Here is a link to a list of 50 companies. Go through the list and find examples from industries that you part of. Make sure those examples are the closest one to your current business situation, culture, and environment. Try to get an example for each discussion point I mention above and use them at the end of the argument. If you want to make your point stronger, add three cases per point (all of them from your industry). Using past examples is not a selling point, but those are facts that help in the selling process.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: