All Major Verticals (Automotive, Manufacturing, Finance, Healthcare, Construction, Technology) have sailed through significant disruptions since the 1900s. Organisations with C-Suite Executives having forward thinking and willingness to innovate in spite of obstacles (internal and external) played the crucial role in surviving these disruptions.

Organisations survived more than 60 years agree unanimously that each disruption has created significant changes within Organisation. The Organisation is no longer the same as it used to be before the disruption. Organisations with healthy finances, organizational structure, leadership and willingness to risk for long-term sustainability have sailed every disruption gracefully.

Disruptions during 1900 – 1980

During the period 1900 – 1980, Disruptions happened every twenty-five years. Industry Journals and Research (paper/print media) from universities were sources of information for C-Suite executives to sense the triggers of disruption. C-Suite executives of Fortune 500 companies were only able to afford such material. So, C-Suite executives had sufficient time to understand, strategize, prepare the organization financially and prepare people for the disruption. C-Suite executives and organizations had adequate time to minimize the impact of disruption on organization’s finances.

During this period Small Medium Business were suppliers to these Fortune 500 companies. Small Medium Business had limited/no access to both information and money.

Disruptions during 1980-2020

During the period 1990- 2020, Disruptions are happening every five years. The Internet has made Industry Journals and research from universities accessible and affordable to every one.

C-Suite executives of Fortune 500 companies were investing strategically in Technology, Supply Chain and Partnerships and able to retain their market position. C-Suite executives and Organisations from Fortune 500 were able to retain their position due to investment barriers involved in starting and running an organisation by new entries.

During this period Small Medium Business were competitors of these Fortune 500 companies in one or two areas. Small Medium Business had limited access to money.

Disruptions of Future (2020-2040)

C-Suite executives of Fortune 500 companies are experiencing chills up the spine, even to anticipate or imagine disruptions expected in future 30 years and their impact in short term/long term on their organisations.

Disruptive innovations or changes
Disruptive innovations or changes

Discomfort in C-Suite executives could be due to changes in the last decade.

  • Technology Innovations such as
    • Industry of Things (IoT)
    • Artificial Intelligence (AI)
    • Cloud Computing
    • Universal Payment Gateways
    • Big data, Online Portals
    • Virtual Organizations
    • Automation
    • Block Chain.
  • Technology that shook the foundations of Industries
    • Uber doesn’t own any car
    • Airbnb doesn’t hold any property
    • Amazon doesn’t own any store
  • Internet that enables availability of Information to everyone (e.g., Subscribing to Industry Journals/Articles, Harvard Business Review, Gartner, Forrester, IDC, Ovum, Nielsen Media Research, Frost Sullivan, IBM, Thomson Reuters)
  • Global Economic Policies that ease anyone to do business anywhere
  • Social Media Channels that provide equal opportunities to influence significant buying decisions irrespective of the size of the company (Creating meaningful content at regular intervals directly affect the google search results and is available in organic search)
  • Multiple Sources of Funding for an Idea that creates Value (Angel Investors, Venture Capitalists, Crowdfunding)
  • Agility of Small Medium Business to respond to change for survival and growth

Way forward

The way forward for Fortune 500 companies to surf the disruptions

C-Suite executives

Mindset
Mindset
  • Invest Time & Energies in Self Learning
    • Fed with Latest Trends of Industry/Technology
    • One to One sessions (virtual/physical)
    • Group Learning for 2 hours every 15 days
  • Empowered to be Global Leaders
    • Volunteer for Individual Competency assessment
    • Be Ready for constant 360 degrees Feedback
    • Open your mind and organisation for undergoing coaching & mentoring executives
    • Open your company for Anonymous feedback from company’s millennial employees on every C-Suite executive
  • Embrace themselves and organisations with the an agile/adaptive mindset
    • Drive, internal Innovation/R&D projects
    • Be Open for Disrupting Internal Hierarchies or Reporting system
    • Becoming comfortable in with unpredictability
    • Willingness to fail fast
  • Have an Open mindset for partnerships or collaborations
    • Constant Value Stream Mapping of Business and identify areas to outsource
    • Market Research to drive proactive partnerships with upcoming disruptive startups.
    • Partnerships that improve market position or reduce the cost of product innovation
  • Encourage entrepreneurship and drive Startup incubators
    • Recommend Organisation for funding the top performing Employees leaving Organisations to Start on their own
    • Refer to Angel Investors for funding the top performing Employees leaving Organisations to Start on their own
    • Sponsor the Start-up Conferences related to your Industry
    • Participate as mentor or adviser for startups (not related to your industry. This could bring out hidden Lateral Thinker in you)
  • Prepare Organisation for disruption by preserving the Character of Organisation (i.e., Organisation culture) with
    • Centre of Excellence to explore industry disruptions
    • Think Tank forum to
      • Brainstorm and come up with new Product ideas or Offerings
      • Help Organisations to overcome significant bottlenecks of Company with innovative solutions
    • Business Dashboards across all levels for
      Golden Path to Survive Disruptions
      Golden Path to Survive Disruptions
      • Wholistic/Systems Thinking
      • Bring CFO prospective on initiatives
      • Detecting potential problems
      • Historical performance
      • Predict future trends
    • Digital Presence & Brand Team
    • Information Security & Business Continuity Team
    • Virtual Organisation (encourage work from home with clear result oriented KPIs)
    • Anonymous System for that encourages employees at any level highlight/post
      • Sensitive risks
      • Challenges due to existing Organisation Structure
      • Unethical practices
    • Knowledge Bases to capture Organisation’s knowledge/experience of completed Assignments
    • Communities/Forums that encourage informal Learning and Collaboration
    • Competency Forum that recommends competencies needed as Organisation (to be future ready). Map or Include these competencies with Designations & Roles (in the Company).
    • Align performance Appraisal towards Team performance over individual performance. Ensure every employee undergoes 360 degrees evaluation every six months.
    • Employee Career forum with a combination of Internal HR, Third party Career Planners, Mentors. Evaluate employees every two months and recommend Action Plan that links with Internal Organisational learning resources
    • Mentor Team that supports employees on Career growth, Psychological Support ( cope with depression)
    • PMO (Project Management Office) and give enough power and resources to convert Strategies (projects, programs or portfolios) into actions/measurable results/outcome
    • FMO (Functional Management Office) to capture the Functional Expertise (a key differentiator)
    • Make Organisation technology savvy across all levels to implement above at minimum cost and resistance
    • Incentivize People/Employees enabling Organisational Learning. ( provide case studies for training material, contribute to innovation/projects)
    • Provide different ways of sharing knowledge within the organisation (webinars, classroom training)
    • Call External Consultants, Subject Matter Experts to conduct Conferences or Awareness sessions. External Consultants could avoid or disrupt group thinking as an organisation
    • Encourage Third Party Audits or Assessments and provide recommendations and road maps.
    • Measure Time spent on Continuous improvement initiatives
    • Train Employees across all levels on Agile, Project Management, Risk Management, Latest Technology trends of your industry

During this period Small Medium Business could compete or coexist through a partnership with Fortune 500 companies. Few Small Medium Business could disrupt industry and have lion’s share of business.

Note: Each point mentioned here is a significant initiative by itself. If any point discussed here triggers interest or series of thoughts in you, feel free to share your comments or contact us for more in-depth insightful discussions.


Sivaram Athmakuri

Sivaram Athmakuri is Founder & Director of LeaderGains. He is successful Coach, Consultant and Trainer. He has 20 plus years of Managerial Experience with strong technology back ground. He served 100 plus customers across the world. He Empowers Corporations in areas of Executive Coaching, Strategic Planning, Dashboards for C-Suite, Setup Project Management Office, Agile Transformation, Risk Management and Product Development. His belief on spending more time in listening to Customer and understanding unique strengths of their existing environment helps him to generate the long lasting results faster with lesser friction.