Recognizing Disruption as a Creator and not a Competitor
What we see is only visualized after our brain translates the image. In business, our actions can easily be highjacked by what we condition ourselves to see. Why is it that some can look through things and some only see things as painted literal, with no interpretation?
When you stop looking for absolutes is when you discover the excitement of the unknown.
Organizations or industries become victims of obsolescence when they refuse to look through, over, and under what is presented as an absolute. Companies can be so stubborn to what was, it becomes their what is.
I was listening to a webinar recently where industry leaders were discussing a threat from a disruptive competitor. First, I would say collaborating with peers in times of disruption is a must. However, when the collaboration becomes a cheerleading session for the past, those trying to get to the future will be drowned out by the noise.
When you’re stuck in the past run from its cheerleaders, to those with an opposing view of the future.
When a collaborative effort’s purpose becomes a sounding board for status quo reinforcement, the collaboration then becomes a reunion. Reunions bring us together to reflect on what happened in the past, and collaboration should be about what can be done together that is better or new.
As I thought back on this webinar, what I didn’t hear became more important than what was said. The collaborators all recognized the disruptor as a competitor. A fatal mistake. Disruptors do not see themselves as competitors. They instead see themselves as creators of a new way. Disruption changes the game and with its success. The legacy players fight for survival with the old game, while the disruptor becomes the customer’s choice with its new game plan.
No industry or organization can force a customer to stay engaged in the old industry, and when they believe they can, obsolescence is their future. I call this the “taxi industry syndrome.” Yes, some taxi organizations will still pick up and deliver customers, however, the how, and the means will definitely be a new model.
Industries are disrupted when the monetization of the old way is no longer relevant in sustaining the new way. When this happens, the old business model is destroyed and replaced by that of the disruptor. Disruptors change the business model forcing the implosion of the legacy model.
Innovations come from what others didn’t pay attention to and destroy those who refuse to accept there could be an alternative way.
Recently we all read where Amazon Web services have become the world’s cloud leader. They went from the laughed-at competitor to the disruptive leader. Cisco and others saw Amazon as a weak competitor they could easily win against. Amazon had no intention of competing; its goal was changing the game. The legacy players needed to adapt. If they had, maybe they could have challenged Amazon instead of losing the market to them. Amazon ignores the legacy ways and reinvents the means. Amazon understands that replacing the past with the future is more rewarding than being a competitor fighting to be the best of the past. With today’s technology, being the best last-man-standing in an old technology can be a shorter-than-ever tenure. Organizations must include adaptation in their vision. The future used to be a quest. Today the disruptor brings the future to the present, while the competitors of the old way fight amongst themselves for relevancy in a dying market.
When fighting disruption, the conversation must start with this question. What is the worst that can happen? Without the ability to understand how we could be defeated, we are at the mercy of those who plan and execute our defeat. Many industries will be challenged in this new century. Today’s corporate threat is not a competitor, it’s the disrupter that is fueled by technology and driven to innovate. The disruptor changes the means to the result, and when the customer accepts the changes, the old way dies.
I will remind you, as I always do as I wind up, that status quo is the killer of all that will be invented. Don’t get stuck in the status quo.
Read a related article about HP and Xerox by Ray StasieczkoHave you found this article, “Business Opportunities Offered by this Pandemic” helpful?
Ray Stasieczko is a forward-thinking and often controversial writer and speaker. You may not want to agree with everything he says, but you are compelled to read and listen. To do otherwise could spell doom.
He has called the imaging channel home for nearly 30 years and served in various roles and has contributed nearly 100 articles to the industry’s publications. Ray has also spoken at the RT Media Summits in Cairo, South America and China. You can contact him and watch him on LinkedIn. Stasieczko welcomes all to subscribe to his YouTube Channel
Read Ray’s other blogs:
- Business Opportunities Offered by this Pandemic
- That’s a Lot of Toner For a Market in Decline
- The Toner Wars Between Cartridge Suppliers
- When will Dion Write the Check to Carl
- Make Your Printer Consumables Business Profitable
- Recognizing Disruption as a Creator and not a Competitor
- Managed Print Services is Not the Door to Managed IT Services