You could argue the iPhone was only as successful as it was because of the iPod, but that’s my point. As the incumbent, you have the permission to play, to evolve the market, and push boundaries. You have access to the market and the resources to deliver.
So how do you self-disrupt?
Besides Horizon 1 type innovation, employees who operate within ‘the rules’ will find it almost impossible to generate Horizon 2 and Horizon 3 type solutions. While we do need faster horses, we also need to be exploring and building cars for the future.
So to disrupt, I believe businesses need to create, adopt or partner with a team that has the permission and ability to operate outside of ‘business as usual’ rules and to challenge the core business itself.
This could be via a partnership with an agency, hiring what I like to call a “ventures team” or a combination of both.
The agency argument
Freestyle have ready made expert teams for this and as a separate entity we operate outside of your business structure, perceptions and practices which usually means we can move faster and challenge the status quo without the fear of losing our jobs.
The venture team argument
Having your own team of disruptors is a good move as long as they are given permission to act and think differently to the core business. This team needs to be protected from the core business, whilst being able to access its resources and information when required. Their role is to generate and validate new business models, products and services to build a business case for further investment and if successful hand these solutions over to delivery teams.
The combo for the win
Where an internal ventures team often struggles is with the volume of work. Identifying and validating new business models, products and services can cause a bandwidth issue for internal teams, which can prevent the team from rapidly responding to change. So combining this with resources from an external partner allows the business to flex and respond when it needs to.