A disruptive innovation is an innovation that creates a new market frontiers and value network. It eventually unsettles an existing market and value network, displacing established market leaders and alliances, and overturns the traditional business methods and practices. No one can deny the fact that we are living in the era of disruptive changes.
There are unimaginable disruptions going on in the business place today, and more are yet to come. Traditional businesses are failing and may eventually disappear with time. After all, there are not known business models that will last forever. That is why they are constantly disrupted.
What is the way out of this disruption that potent both great opportunities and threats? Simply reinvent your business model that will deliver greater value to the customers from an advanced context. In order words, you are to recognise inherent potentials of already known business activities using technological innovations (in filing the available needs in your sphere of business).
Here, you put known and unconnected ideas together to birth something superior that delights the customer more than anything else (s)he can find. In fact, you must find strangeness in the familiar, and look where others don’t by re-thinking and reworking your strategies based on prevailing realities.
Every enterprise must get dissatisfied with some of its business models and methods, and rebelliously create a super-hybrid solution for the customers, and by so doing sustainably grow and expand the business. Therefore, you are to manage the present, envisage the future of your business in the light of technological innovations, and recreate it in order to wow your customer, keep existing customers, and attract more customers.
Disruption and continuous disruption in every sphere of life and business is inevitable. Every model of existing businesses today are ‘disruptible’, from how a business is formed to how it is managed or run to how it serves its purpose. It could be partial and absolute disruption, but one must happen to your enterprise. It’ just matter of time. Even the least imagined business system or process like distribution channels of company goods or products is ‘disruptible’, and will be disrupted.
The question is, how are you disrupting your entire business systems – your customer care service, your sales, your marketing, your operations, your product distributions, and your other services, knowing that some of the business rules, which were necessitated by the present business age have changed? We are no longer in the industrial age, which centred on product and ‘productization’ but on technological age, which is about the customers and ‘customisation’.
Disruptive products and services customize. In other words, disruptive companies focus on personalised holistic-customer-experience. This method makes complex processes simpler, cheaper and more convenient for the customers. This has become possible with 3D printing technologies, which is becoming cheaper and accessible every wake of day.
Okendo Lewis-Gayle rightly put it: ‘By leveraging technology and innovative business models, disruptors transform complex and expensive products into simpler and more affordable ones’. As a matter of fact, convenience sells today more than before, and it sells big time!
We have more and more enlightened buyers today than in the history of man. The implication of this is that today’s customers want to be served faster, better and with dignity. To stay on key, we must constantly ask; who are your customers? What do they value? And how do you deliver that value to them? You must also ask what is possible if your skills, experiences and assets are combined with technological innovations in new ways for the purpose of serving customers better?
Customers’ values keep changing with increasing technological innovations. Have you considered the future of your business in the next five to ten years? What do you think is the next disruptive product or service? It is customers that define the future of any business, including yours. They won’t hesitate to turn their back on you if you fail to disrupt. Their body language is simply saying: disrupt or we quit, and when we quit, your business dies!
About the Author of this Article
Tony Ajah is a Business Growth Strategist, and the Principal Strategist, TA Strategic Solutions, a Lagos-based firm that provides strategic business development services for budding entrepreneurs.And the Director,Nigeria Innovation Summit.His ideas are highly sought after by leading Nigerian print media such as Punch Newspaper, Daily Sun, Effective Managers Series- Daily Independent, Financial Standard, Business Day, M2 weekly, BrandWork Nigeria, BrandCrunch, ReguLetter (an international journal), amongst others. Tony has written hundreds of business articles that have been shared on several media platforms around the world both online and off-line.He is also a seasoned idea strategist, trainer and professional speaker and his voice has been heard in numerous establishments across Nigeria and beyond.Tony has worked closely with some of the brightest minds in the industry. He is a member of several professional organisations within and outside the country, and also an alumnus on Federal University of Technology Owerri.