You don’t often get survey results that nudge the 100% mark, but I wasn’t surprised when our recent FIT FOR DIGITAL report revealed that 98% of executives believe that digital has disrupted their enterprises, and will keep on disrupting them into the foreseeable future. The phrase, ‘The New Normal’ has become popular. It’s neat, but it’s not new. In fact, disruption is what business is all about. Always has been.
Go back far enough and you can talk about mechanization disrupting traditional small workshops; or the rise of steam power over-turning the era in which animal power was common. Then along came electricity and mass production and… there are numerous examples. The point is, to be in business is either to disrupt or to face disruption. It’s the normal cycle. When you’re in business disruption comes with the territory. Now that territory is digital.
The Fit for Digital report has an important subtitle: Co-creation in the Age of Disruption. Again, when you look closer, it’s nothing new. Enterprises don’t operate in isolation. If they do, they don’t last long. The best kinds of enterprises learn from their partners and their competitors. They make strategic alliances with specialists to help them adapt and innovate. They are agile in thought and action. The flow of debate, ideas and practical methods help to energise an enterprise and make them, well, fitter for the challenges they face. In this case, the digital disruption that is sweeping across every sector.
The report identifies one of the main obstacles to achieving that flow of ideas: keeping the lights on. An enterprise needs to balance running day-to-day operations with looking at both the short- and long-term trends that are affecting their core markets and customers. That’s hard. It’s difficult to see through the noise to identify threats, find solutions and deliver innovation. The famed statistician, Nat Silver, put it well when he said, “The thing that’s the toughest to teach is the intuition for what are the big questions to ask.” The big questions and the right ones. The only way to do that is get a broader perspective, and work in co-operation with someone from the outside.
That is the foundation of co-creation. Working with a partner who can see through the day-to-day, and identify the key threats and opportunities. Then work together to find solutions that can be both internal and external. The report captures that spirit. It’s worth reading.
It can help you understand the territory, and then command it with confidence.
Download FIT FOR DIGITAL: Co-Creation in the Age of Disruption here.