Many established companies today face zero or mediocre organic growth. Has growth become a privilege, reserved only for start-ups and so called growth companies? I believe not. What we see happening in the business world is disruption from companies, that don’t hesitate to challenge the thinking of existing business models. This digitalized era gives strong tools for business model innovation, or attacking part of an existing business model with radical new ways of working.
What is the new thinking behind this evolution?
We live in a time shift, where we do not need to take markets as given starting points for strategy, but rather see markets as created by innovative strategies. Viewing markets as malleable means that they are not precursors of strategy but outcomes of strategy - they can be created, changed and reshaped. This insight has for the last ten years mainly been the battle-field for start-ups only – today we can see more and more established, bigger companies gaining from the insights of this differentiated view on markets. We have moved into a new era of market shaping.
Many bigger companies in regulated or capital intensive businesses have been comfortable, knowing that small start-ups cannot disturb what they have built up over centuries. Today we all know that regulations in the global taxi industry didn’t stop Uber, we know that capital intensity in the hotel business has had no effect on Airbnb and we also know that there is a lot cooking in other industries - banking, automotive, healthcare and so on.
Have you noticed one peculiar thing when it comes to shake-ups in the market? For all of us who have been active for a long time in the same industry, it is often almost impossible to see radical disruptions possible in that industry. At the same time, we can easily anticipate major changes in almost any other industry.
Next time you have a beer (or something bubbly) or two with your old friends working in other industries, ask them to come with their wildest guesses regarding likely disruptions to your industry - you will most probably be amazed.
Maybe it’s time to ease any built-in protection mechanisms also in your company?
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