John Lodder: Disruption is our 'New Normal'

Reinvent your business future before it is too late

In my September column I explain why ‘Disruption’ is the ‘New Normal’ for people and organizations. I give three basic explanations; organizations and management styles are outdated, our brain is not built for disruptions and new generations don’t accept ‘old’ norms, values and management styles anymore.

Especially Social Disruptions show issues like stress, high (mental) sick leave, burn-out (global 11% of employees).

Accenture (a USA global consultancy firm) did a research in 2023 under 10,000 companies in 18 industry sectors using their own Disruptability Index (with 62 indicators) to measure current levels and susceptibility to disruption.

The overall level of disruption went from 4% during 2012-2017 up to 200% in five years (2017-2022). In figure 1 you also see the disruptions in six important segments.

Figure ! – Total disruption and in six segments.

In figure 2 you see the actual and susceptibility scores to future disruption in 18 industries.

Figure 2 - The current vs. future disruption in 18 industries.

Executives are aware of the threat

C-Suite mentions of ‘disruption’ have increased significantly in the past 10 years as we can see in many studies.

And with it the anxieties of executives increased across industries. They realize that ca. 70% of companies are currently in, or stand on the brink of significant disruption.

Disruption became a persistent condition for industries and its people; 83% of the industries that Accenture analyzed spent at least five years in the same period of disruption. Industries fall within one of four periods of disruption:

Viability: The opportunity lies in reinvention and growing the core by offering new products/services in existing markets, but also existing products/services in new markets.

Durability: The period where companies have a great opportunity to seek and experiment with reinvention and new business ideas.

Vulnerability: This blind spot distracts many from a great reinvention opportunity: scaling up new ideas and venturing into new markets.

Volatility: Most companies focus on resolving pressing issues in the core business and on reinvention; what’s much harder is redirecting investment capacity to grow new business.

 Figure 3 – Disruption is a way of life, the ‘New Normal’.