True disruption within an industry provides an enormous opportunity for new leaders to step to the forefront. What is it about industry disruption that allows this to happen?
First, we must understand what disruption really is. Disruption has become a cliche because many industries have undergone a fundamental shift which we have labeled disruption. Let’s not confusion disruption with progress. Let’s not confuse ongoing evolution with innovation.
True disruption occurs when the economic pie of an industry — the way we go about business — is totally thrown into chaos.
Take, for example, the media industry. The mass media of the 80s and 90s is gone. There used to be an economic reality of content producers, publishers, distributors, editors, and core creators. Each one of those constituents knew what to expect from the industry. There was a standard business model and give or take a relatively small percentage, the business model and the economics were well defined.
Enter technology. Not just the evolution of media. We’ve seen record albums turn into cassettes turn into CDs. That’s evolution. That’s just progress. But technology came in and totally disrupted the industry, eliminating or significantly changing the constituents within that industry.
The business models — the economic pie, how the money was divided within the value chain — were disrupted. This type of disruption happens not more than every decade. Typically it’s many multiple decades before an industry is fundamentally disrupted.
This type of disruption, of which we have seen at an exponential speed lately because of some of the technological advances within our society, fundamentally changes the status quo.
Disruption is for those who can think outside the box, who are not afraid to sabotage their own current economic realities, take advantage of new opportunities, and lead the charge. Those who force this disruption and are willing to sabotage themselves and the old way of thinking excel and become the new leaders.
How can you embrace disruption in your business or industry?