Beware - Disruptors at work in this area

Graphic of disruptor at work at desk with laptop against backdrop of tablet screens and large crane

Recently I had a fascinating meeting with the chief executive of a start-up company who are about to disrupt an established market – this was always going to be an interesting discussion!

They have established that there is a ‘Delta’ in the performance of existing companies within that market. The ‘Delta’ is the difference between the level of current performance of a company and the level at which they could be operating (sometimes called ‘what great looks like’). The larger the Delta, the greater the vulnerability of the organization to competitors and disruptors. Often, however, existing companies are not aware that the Delta even exists.

In this instance, this new disruptor company have identified a significant Delta, and they are setting themselves up to directly address this opportunity. This includes such aspects as:

  • Creating a culture of agility, flexibility and adaptability amongst every single member of staff
  • Having a real focus on the end customer
  • Being comfortable with taking risks and quickly learning from any failures
  • Collaboration across the entire company and self-managing teams being responsible for delivering value of which they are proud
  • Regularly delivering value, constantly changing to circumstances and improving the service that they deliver to customers
  • Use a range of digital solutions to ensure that stakeholders are fully engaged, and that communication is of a high level.

This was particularly interesting to me as everything that was being said was part of the new guidance that has recently been launched by AXELOS called AgileSHIFT.

Interestingly, AgileSHIFT was developed in part with a view to helping organizations protect themselves against disruption. It is therefore intriguing, but not surprising, to see a disruptor using exactly the same concepts as they enter an established market to change the current “knowns” and “norms” of the sector and deliver value in a new, more effective and unexpected way.

As we went through the meeting I was mentally ‘ticking off’ the principles and practices of AgileSHIFT. As well as all the aspects mentioned above I was also hearing how they were going to:

  • regularly challenge the status quo
  • embrace change on an ongoing basis
  • ensure that everyone would add value.

AgileSHIFT has been developed because disruption in markets is far more common than ever before. The pace and scale of change, and the role of enablers like digital technology, have opened up Deltas and these have attracted disruptors who can exploit the complacency or ignorance of long-established companies.

So whether your business has been around for some time, or whether you are a potential disruptor, AgileSHIFT has something say to you. Are you ready to make the shift…?

Read more AXELOS Blog Posts by John Edmonds

AgileSHIFT – no, it’s not another Agile method

How can I be agile without going Agile?

A changing context – the reasons behind AgileSHIFT

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