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Disruptions usually start small and look insignificant.

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Resilience 101. Sustain, thrive and grow your organisation.

We believe organisation’s must be resilient to survive and be sucessful. How? By building strength, resilience capability and taking advantage from disruption.  In today’s world it’s a strategic imperative.

Disruptions usually start small and look insignificant.

A Road Trip

A long road trip often provides the opportunity for me to reflect, my recent Easter visits to family and friends gave me the luxury of a chance to think. Disruptions to business by their very nature have some element of the unknown, whether timing, location, what they might be or their eventual impact. Every sector and organisation is subject to them and preparing and benefiting from them is what resilience is all about, but they often start small and appear insignificant.

20-20 Rear View

Hindsight is a marvellous thing and usually we can convince ourselves after the event that we spotted something coming long before the experts, I am no exception in this regard!
At the end of March Jaguar Land Rover announced a £1.2million deal with Waymo to sell their new electric vehicle the I-Pace. Not massive compared to many in the automotive sector which is why it probably slipped under most radars. Stopping at the somewhat dated service station I noticed a new group of electric vehicle chargers, which during our meal had just the one user.What struck me apart from the obvious lack of users were;

  • A typical charge for a Tesla is 40 minutes. A captive premium client base and yet there was no pedestrian crossing to the services nor a coffee place adjacent.
  • The chargers were restricted to motorway users, the access to the local community was just for staff, valuable customers were therefore excluded.
  • Disruptions often feel a little ridiculous and these 14 charging stations certainly felt a bit lonely but the JLR/Waymo deal suggests that electric vehicles are about to be more common and may have reached a tipping point.

A Different Perspective of Disruptions.

Disruptions are often seen as bad, to be avoided and minimised, resilience is about more than just weathering disruption but seeing it as an opportunity. Clayton Christensen has written about why innovation often appears no threat to incumbents, and my Easter trip underlines the lessons.

  • Always keep one eye on emerging trends before they become overwhelming. Your new competition will take only a small un-attractive piece of the market at the beginning.
  • The shape of new markets is unlikely to be the same, so be prepared to adapt your business model.
  • The focus on business as usual is no longer good enough to be successful, existing managements often struggle to deal with both loss making disruption and current profit centres.

Resilience is all about preparing for unknown disruptions and creating advantage from them. I certainly expect to see more change as this trend unfolds, some businesses ignore it and others adapt and thrive.

Further Reading
Christensen, C., 2013. The innovator’s dilemma: when new technologies cause great firms to fail. Harvard Business Review Press.

The author, Paul Hancock is a Resilience Consultant at 360 Resilience Ltd.



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