Lead Like an Entrepreneur

In my early career, I saw the impact of disruptive technology as computer aided design threatened the traditional manual drafting profession.  The leadership response at the time was, “Let’s wait and see what happens.”   It was a mindset that was blind to the opportunity of disruption.

What happened was that the profession was wiped out by the new technology in the space of a few years.

I am sure that you will have your own version of this story, whether it is Kodak and digital photography or DEC and personal computing, etc. etc.  ‘Wait and see’ has an inevitability to it.  Generally it leads to demise.

“429 of the original Fortune 500 companies (1955) are no longer in business today.  Adapt or Die” – Vala Afshar

The Digital Vortex, a compelling report recently released by Cisco and IMD, has some disturbing news about technology disruption.  It appears that the ‘wait and see’ mindset is being repeated.

The survey of 940 business leaders from around the globe predicts that 40% of top industry incumbents (in terms of market share) will be displaced by digital disruption in the next five years.

However, despite the implications of these findings, nearly a third of businesses surveyed are taking a ‘wait and see’ approach to digital disruption, in the hope of emulating competitors.

That does not sound like the kind of leadership that would inspire shareholders, let alone clients or employees!  It is definitely not the opportunity mindset of an entrepreneur.

Digital disruption requires a game-changing strategy.  And a game-changing strategy demands game-changing leadership.  It requires an opportunity mindset, just like the entrepreneurs who are leading the disruption.

The latest Big Kahuna Leadership Survey has the objective of stimulating a wider conversation on this critical topic.  We are asking influential leaders how businesses can develop the game-changing leadership capability that is needed to meet the challenge of digital disruption.

Please put your hand up if you have a perspective on the topic that you would like to share.  ‘Wait and see’ is not an acceptable answer!