Chief Disruptor LIVE

Posted by Shammah Banerjee | 28-Nov-2018 17:31:24


In 1997, Clayton Christensen published something which revolutionised the way businesses thought, interacted and innovated. In his book, An Innovator’s Dilemma, he coined the phrase “disruptive innovation”, defined as progression and transformation.

His thesis: no one is immune to disruption, and dealing with it requires a futuristic mindset.

22 years later, Christensen’s book remains relevant - vital, even - to anyone dealing with disruption. It’s something that is experienced in every national economy; as new technologies are brought into the market, cumbersome giants and small start-ups alike attempt to survive in the midst of constant market evolution.

It’s a terrifying reality - your industry, your organisation, your business models must change to keep up. No one likes change: it’s uncomfortable and requires energy to deal with. Continuing on with strategies that are becoming obsolete, however, is pointless. Stubbornly scraping through the change will leave you surviving (just), but if you take the time to shake up your models, you could thrive in the change. The choice seems obvious, but in practice it’s far more difficult.

We are left with the dilemma: do you stubbornly scrape through survival in an evolving market, or take the time to shake up your models and thrive in the change?

Complacency and threat are two of the themes we will be exploring at our biggest summit to date, Chief Disruptor LIVE (18-19 March 2019). Following the same vein of Christensen’s seminal book, the dichotomy posed here posits that complacency is an invitation to threat. Complacent businesses sit back and lean on their huge customer bases. Complacency often comes hand-in-hand with blind optimism: why bother thinking about changing a model which has worked for the last ten years? Surely it will work for the next ten?

It probably won’t.

2017 was a big year for disruption in all spheres. It opened with the inauguration of possibly the most controversial US president ever, Donald Trump. It was the year that Brexit negotiations began. More pertinently, it was also the year that saw the final collapse of the tech giant, Yahoo. Its acquisition, by telecoms conglomerate Verizon, marked a shift in the tech and business worlds: no longer were the giants, who started the internet revolution, safe from the entrants who were continuing it. The headlines of the time were utterly bemused: how had the multi-billion pound company fallen so far?

The answer: complacency. Failure to keep up with fellow giants, Google and Facebook, left Yahoo vulnerable to threats. CEO Marissa Mayer’s big failure is cited as her inability to execute a turnaround in the company’s strategy. As technology evolved in areas such as mobile and social media, Yahoo stayed firmly in email and internet. It flirted with television, but lacked the resources for success in that area. The result of this complacency was one of the biggest downfalls in tech history.

In March 2019, we will be tackling the biggest and most disruptive changes of the moment with the biggest and most disruptive innovators themselves. We will be hearing from both the disruptors and disruptees in keynotes and smaller interactive sessions, and together coming to the solutions to the dilemma posed by Clayton Christensen.

To secure your place at one of London’s biggest gatherings for disruptive leaders, all you have to do is complete the DTR survey to win your free one-day ticket, worth £900+VAT. Complete it now to ensure that you’re not the next Yahoo.

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Written by Shammah Banerjee

Shammah is the Senior Editor at Nimbus Ninety. She tracks down the most exciting stories in business and tech, produces the content and gets to chat with the biggest innovators of the moment at Chief Disruptor LIVE.

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