To be Disrupted or be the Disruptor

Being exposed to a crisis is often not a choice, but how you as a leader or a business executive decides to prepare, respond, and learn from an event is most certainly a choice. It is an important decision that carries consequences. Allocating time, energy, and funds to create a resilient enterprise can be the difference of not only surviving a transformational event but thriving post-event. Perhaps it is your business that disrupts the market, rather than being disrupted.

A key to be a Thriver is a mindset revolving around the concept of Enterprise Collaborative Decision-Making (ECDM). A tangible representation is the creation of a Collaborative Decision Hub, an Integrated Operations Center (IOC).

Most crises present an environment of uncertainty, stress, sense of loss of control, unpredictability, element of surprise, and perceived threats against core values. Consequences can involve everything from loss of life, property damage, interrupted supply chains, decreased revenue, lower share value, and loss of customer confidence in the brand. Some of these consequences can follow an enterprise like a shadow long after the acute phase of an event.

After-action reviews (AAR) often find that an inhibiting factor for detecting an event and managing it effectively is that the right people did not have the needed information at the right time. Reasons for such failures can frequently be attributed to a failure of imagination, a sense of it will not happen to us, antiquated and isolated decision systems obstructing effective collaboration and coordination and disconnected databases impairing the ability to draw lessons learned. Remember that this is where an AAR is performed and there is interest to learn from an event. Many opportunities to learn, transform and thrive are wasted by not investing in an AAR in the first place.

However, technology is evolving at lightning speed and provides sophisticated tools that fuses data and information, predicts event flows, provides early warning, connects dots, enables collaborative decision-making, and provides powerful aggregated business intelligence. Using new technology in a methodical way in addition to systems already in place will enable the organization to be more agile and adaptive.

Customers, shareholders, business partners, competitors, society at large, and not least your own employees will judge the organization on how well a crisis is managed and if it can emerge being even more competitive.

Those organizations that harness and embrace the power of technology will disrupt, and not be disrupted. However, this requires executive leadership to methodologically install a combination of the right mindset, agile processes, and new technologies. A beacon and focal point to rally the enterprise for such an initiative is the creation of an Integrated Operations Center (IOC). This will set a path towards being a resilient organization that can continue to create value for its stakeholders.

Thanks for reading! Happy to discuss further if there are any questions or comments!

Jesper Gronvall