There’s a lot of disruption going on these days… have you noticed? Here are some examples.
The Amazon online model has got brick and mortar retailers on the run. According to this Forbes article, 34% of Americans say they do 50% of their shopping online, a 99% increase from 2006. Meanwhile, J.C. Penny’s, Sears and Target are closing stores.
Uber is transforming the taxi industry by connecting drivers and passengers through smartphones – without any need for Uber to own cars or buildings or employ drivers. This has the taxi companies in defensive mode trying to outlaw this disruptive model, but that’s a losing battle in the long run.
Tesla has come out of nowhere with a top-rated and exciting car and has changed the rules of automobile sales. So far three states have outlawed that approach to “protect the consumer,” but this more efficient method will win out eventually.
The latest disrupter in the news is Airbnb, a company founded 5 years ago that matches up empty rooms in peoples’ houses and apartments with others looking for a place to stay. A recent valuation pegs the company at $10 billion, just behind Hilton, Marriott and Starwood.
I mention these examples because they caught their competitors by surprise. And they’re not even true competitors – they do compete with the older companies for business, but are in the process of replacing them and are in turn spawning their own competitors.
Are one of these disrupters coming at your company… maybe just out of your eyesight at the moment? Or will a disrupter from another industry lure some of you employees away? Are any of your employees thinking of ideas to disrupt your company?
These are good questions to ponder, as being prepared is much preferable to getting blindsided. One way to prepare is to make sure you’re truly engaged with your workforce. Do they know what you’re thinking and, perhaps more importantly, do you know what they are? Do they know you’re interested in their ideas – disruptive or not?
With radical, new business models sprouting up everywhere, an engaged workforce is more important than ever. Put engagement on your 2nd quarter to-do list and disrupt yourself before someone else does.