For Star Trek fans, "disruptor" is a setting on the type-2 phaser as demonstrated by Chief O'Brian in the picture above.
For everyone else, disruptors are often start-up's that are coming into the market with new operating models that challenge the traditional approach. Amazon were perhaps one of the most famous disruptors, their challenge to traditional bookshops was profound, and has resulted in them now being the worlds largest online retailer.
Of course, Uber and AirBnB are now doing the same for taxi services and hospitality services respectively. It won't stop there, Uber and AirBnB consider themselves software companies, selling a service, not a taxi service or a hotel chain.
At a recent conference (The Internet of Insurance, April 2017) one provider of IOT devices found it was easier to become an insurer themselves than to convince existing insurers of their proposition.
Without doubt, if there isn't a disruptor already in your market segment, then there are customers who are increasing expecting a digital-first experience and if you cannot provide it they will leave you for someone who can.
When considering your own Innovation Practice you need to consider three areas of Innovation.
Core Innovation is taking an innovative approach to existing processes. An example of this is the agile scrum / low code development of a solution to replace old Quality Assurance checks (which was a stick to beat people at the end of the process) with a new Coaching Development Review (a carrot to aspire to). The solution was shortlisted for the Times Initiative of the Year 2015 and the winner of the Claims Excellence Awards 2016.
Adjacent Innovation came in the development of an entirely new proposition for a mobile-first simplified life cover protection product. The business already handled protection products but this tapped into the digital-first intuitive interface that also resulted in winning the 2015 Design 100 Award!
Disruptive Innovation was explored using the Innovation Lab Process, an 8 week lab cycle looking at the topic of Wellness resulted in dozens of micro-propositions, dozens of experiments and a main proposition taken on for full development. While not all Innovation Labs result will result in a full proposition development, typically when it happens it will be digital first.
Finally, before closing on the topic of disruptors and disruption, a final approach to horizon scanning is to sponsor one of the many incubators that are helping start-ups to link up with major corporates with a view to investment or partnership opportunities. Startup Bootcamp is an example in the Fintech sector.
It is a challenging time for traditional organisations facing disruption from start-up's, new digital-first demands from customers and the ever-increasing pace of technology change. At Wzard we can help you to make sense of the market and tailor a strategy to fit your future business needs. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org