I ran across an internet post last week that triggered todays column. The post was a provocative
challenge to all businesses to take a closer look at disruption, and what we can do about it.
You can pick the post apart if you want, but here is what it said:
Netflix did not kill Blockbuster.
Late fees did.
Uber did not kill the taxi business.
Limited access and fare control did.
Apple did not kill the music industry.
Being forced to buy full-length albums did.
Amazon did not kill other retailers.
Poor customer services and experience did.
Airbnb isn’t killing the hotel industry.
Limited availability and pricing options are.
Technology by itself is not the disruptor.
Not being customer-centric is the biggest threat to any business.
Ironically, when I saw this post, we were just putting the finishing touches on a survey we’ve now sent out, asking local business how they are doing, what their predictions are for the year to come, and for their feedback on the next generation Chamber of Commerce, and what we should be doing to better fulfill our promise of "Strengthening Business".
We are a successful Chamber, leading our industry in many award-winning ways, but despite those successes, if we are not constantly looking for ways to improve, then we are stagnant and it’s only a matter of time before someone eats our lunch.
Whether you are a Chamber member or not, I’d really appreciate it if you would take the time to fill out the survey. We’ll know more abut your business and ours.
So how does this apply to your business? How are you dealing with disruption?
I had a lesson a couple of weeks ago when a friend posted a passionate defense of buying local, a message that our Chamber has successfully branded with our #LoveLocalPtbo campaign. His comments included staying away from online shopping such as Amazon. It wasn’t long before a local business commented that Amazon was how he got his product to market. Buy local through Amazon… it is possible.
That same day an Amazon box arrived at the Chamber with my name on it, which raised a few eyebrows around here. In the Amazon box was ten copies of a book that we are using to push our Chamber to the next level. Amazon was the only way for the author to get his book to market, apart from boxing them up himself in his basement and taking them to the post office…
The day that the popular local brand, Northern Originals was launched, people were lined up to be the first person to buy one of the t-shirts. The first sale was online to someone in Calgary…
All of that to say that buying local has evolved. Business has evolved, and we should all be asking
ourselves what is next.
By the way, the book I ordered is called "Making Remarkable. How to Deliver Purpose, Inspire People and Build a Platform for Exceptional Results." The author is Adam Legge, and he describes remarkability as “a state of being exceptional in your performance, relevance and value. Adam offers an effective lens for looking at your business in three ways:
Adam has particular relevance for me, as he ran the Calgary Chamber of Commerce for ten years. Check out adamlegge.com or yup, buy it on Amazon…
Don't wait for disruption to happen; it's something you should be constantly doing. It's also a concept that is not and should not be limited to a few businesses or sectors. We encourage all members to consider how they can disrupt their industry and push their limits. Some will simply try to keep up with inevitable change. Others will completely reinvent themselves and their industry in the process. What is your purpose? What is your platform?
Disruption vs. Innovation
By: Sandra Dueck, Policy Analyst, Peterborough Chamber of Commerce
Stu's article above got me thinking.
How is disruption different from innovation or is it the same idea expressed in a different way?
A dive into the Internet and there was an abundance of thought. I found an article in CEO Magazine from March 2018. The author Paul Broadfoot asks the same question.
He works on the premise that disruption is a way to increase market size (e.g. make something more accessible to more people), while innovation is used to increase market share (e.g. more people using more of one product over another).
So from a business perspective you may want to be both - a disruptive innovator.