Surviving the Age of Disruption

At the April CEOtoCEO Breakfast the discussion focused on how to lead during a time of wide spread disruption. Disruption within the business community has also created anxiety for many CEOs. According to its 2015 survey, IBM

John Buller

found that 54 percent of CEOs expect to contend with competition from outside their industries — rising from 43 percent in 2013.

CEO speaker John Buller of Loyalty Solutions posed the the following CEO round table discussion:

What are the most important changes that a company in your industry should make to thrive these disruptions?

The CEO’s discussion led to 5 leadership strategies to survive and thrive during periods of disruption

1. Having the right Organizational Culture

The culture needs to be built to allow change, with all of the voices from all levels of the organization participating.

Some comments were:

  • Create a culture that embraces change –find the right people to champion this change
  • Work with the willing – hire people that are willing to change
  • Build a Culture of Engagement (creating internal buy-in, bottom-up information flow, adaptability)
  • Make sure senior management is aligned and become promoters of change

2. Redefine your corporate strategies

The change from incremental improvement to a culture that is flexible to make change, needs to become your organizational strategy.

Some comments were:

  • Create an education effort around organizational change ‘How do we change?’
  • Purposeful/and deliberate plan for the future – ‘Create a process’.
  • Self-awareness – listening to changes – being able to be wrong.
  • Make sure you have a capital investment plan to be able to adjust to the disruption expense issues.

3. Identify organization change agents

The organizations needs to have change agents at all levels of the organization.

Some comments were:

  • Identify leaders that can champion change, find them at all levels of the organization.
  • Find the best communicators in your organization ,empower them to communicate like crazy
  • Coach up –Show you can adapt and support the change.

4. Embrace Technology Changes

In most cases the disruption will involve new technology and applications embrace the change.

Some comments were.

  • Have capital set aside to buy and train the technology change.
  • Educate your customers – expect they will need to be trained

5. Understanding Generational Differences

There is a definite difference in the skill level and motivation between the 3 generations now working in these organizations.

Some comments were:

  • The makeup of your organizational generations will have a significant impact on how you define and react to disruption.
  • Define and identify your next generations of leaders.
  • Focus on your company’s demographic – understand the differences

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