This June, the Global Center for Digital Business Transformation published a report, Digital Vortex: How Digital Disruption Is Redefining Industries.
The report notes that, from a survey of 1,000 business leaders, “four of today’s top 10 incumbents (in terms of market share) in each industry will be displaced by digital disruption in the next five years.”
Displaced is the polite way of saying put out of business.
The Challenge of Accelerated Change
Yet, the report continues: “Despite these dire ramifications, digital disruption is not seen as worthy of board-level attention in about 45 percent of companies (on average across industries). In addition, 43 percent of companies either do not acknowledge the risk of digital disruption, or have not addressed it sufficiently. Only 25 percent describe their approach to digital disruption as proactive.”
The practice of collaborative innovation—leveraging the wisdom of the crowds in the Digital Age to solve our toughest business challenges—can serve as a way forward for organizations in a time of accelerating change. People who pursue the practice fall into the proactive camp.
Two Planview IdeaPlace clients, around the time the “Digital Vortex” report came out, published how they proactively navigate digital disruption through their own takes on the practice of collaborative innovation: Unilever and Amway.
Collaborative Innovation at Work
Unilever launched the IDEAS Foundry, a place where employees co-create sustainability solutions with entrepreneurs. Unilever produced this video to explain the concept. Our Planview IdeaPlace crowdsourcing software supports the virtual component.
Amway reports the results of its long-running The Voice program. The Voice is a place where they can co-create better ways to serve the consumer with their Business Owners. Amway produced the following article to explain the concept. In this recently published article, they explain how they also use Planview IdeaPlace for the virtual component of the program.
The Unilever and Amway examples resonate with me because they seem to offer a logical, measured response to the challenges posed in the “Digital Vortex” report. If one accepts the reality that digital disruption is real and at our collective doorsteps, then the questions become, “What levers do I pull to thrive in this environment? How might I be proactive? How do I keep my organization from freezing in the headlights of the oncoming locomotive?”
To my mind, being proactive means embracing a spirit of inquiry that brings out the best of the organization, relative to what each of us brings to the table.
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