Digital Disruption: Is It Your Friend Or Foe?

Digital disruption has become an obsession for businesses and industries alike. It is an obsession that has the potential to overwhelm and dilute the underlying opportunities that a disruption itself presents.  Your business must choose if disruption is its friend or foe!

digital disruption
Digital Disruption: Friend or Foe?

A focus on being disrupted will overshadow the opportunity to disrupt.

10 indicators that your business may be REACTIVE

  1. High investment but declining revenue. This may suggest that you are chasing what you think will change the market without understanding what the market is actually looking for.
  2. High supply, lower demand. This may suggest that you are not aligned with what your customer wants even though you are competing with what is in the market.
  3. More service offerings but complaints from customers are on the rise.
  4. Higher staff churn than normal sees newer staff leaving your business while longer term staff are less likely to leave.
  5. Your industry is experiencing growth but your business is suffering a downturn.
  6. The technology platforms your business has adopted are disconnected from each other. This may indicate you are integrating new technology without recognizing how and where it will work with legacy systems.
  7. Your business is suffering from a progressive loss of market share.
  8. You notice a lack of cohesion in your product or service offerings.  They provide solutions but these are singular in application.
  9. Your business is generating lots of data but has no ability to qualify or contextualize it.
  10. Collaboration and partnering that exists is more of a ‘power play’ than an ‘innovation play’.

10 Indicators that your business is PROACTIVE

  1. Your business is experiencing exponential revenue growth and also enjoying increasing patronage despite more competition entering the market.
  2. Other businesses are seeking your business out to discuss collaboration and partnership opportunities.
  3. Your business is able to confidently make budget projections based on performance indicators measured against milestones.
  4. Agility enables your business to respond to change without impacting your core business strategy.
  5. You see failures as necessary and you are not afraid of them. They are seen as learning experiences your business can build on.
  6. Industry best practices, global trends and benchmarking are used by your business to give you insights to plan and strategize.
  7. Your employees are engaged, have taken ownership and actively participate in the business’ transformation journey.
  8. Your business communicates visibility and transparently without fear or favour.
  9. Digital is at the core of all your business decisions.  You always ask the question ‘How can digital make this more efficient or effective?’
  10. Your strategy is customer led. Your strategy is a living, breathing document that is a ‘work in progress’. It is responsive to change without compromising its core ethos.

Successful change will not happen when you apply band-aid solutions.  A band-aid solution is one dimensional and it only heals what ails the business in that area and at that time.

Transformational change is evolutionary.  When your business chooses to be proactive rather than reactive in its approach the word ‘disruption’ takes on a very different meaning.  To survive and also experience success you must choose to become the disruptor and not the disruptee.

 

Originally posted 2016-10-18 18:02:41.

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Smart Cities: Will they be smart enough?

Smart Cities need to be sustainable and scalable to be smart enough to become integrated, sharing economies.  They also need to be capable of supporting robust and resilient community ecosystems.

SMART CITIES

 

The Australian Government  Smart Cities Plan has 3 pillars

Smart Investment

Smart Investment means:

1. Prioritising projects that meet broader economic objectives

2. Treating infrastructure funding as an investment wherever possible

3. Getting involved early to ensure rigorous planning and business cases

4. Increasing investment

Smart Policy

Smart Policy requires:

1. Delivering ‘City Deals’

2. Leading regulatory reform

3. Measuring success

Smart Technology

Smart Technology means:

1. Thinking of technology solutions first

2. Leveraging open and real time data

3. Driving use of energy efficient technologies

The 3 pillar excerpts above are explained in depth in a download available from the Australian Government’s Smart Cities website where they welcome comment.

Learn more about the Australian Government Plan

The Australian Government wants to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of urban service delivery, infrastructure and planning.  The aim is to improve the liveability of our cities and suburbs.

The question is .. Will this make our Smart Cities smart enough to become sustainable and scalable sharing community ecosystems?

Enabling technology through policy and investment will establish a solid foundation for the Smart Cities plan.  This then presents an opportunity to build on this foundation to establish self-sustaining economically empowered community ecosystems.

Before technology  – B.T. 

Local economies created their own community ecosystems that were heavily reliant on government to support and subsidize. Local media, business leaders and community co-existed and supported each other.

How did they do this?

Local business would leverage local print media to promote their business, brand and influence and leading businesses would in turn subsidize local community, charity and sports.  This simple, yet effective ecosystem reinforced local parochialism and gave communities identity, a sense of belonging and ownership.

This is a very simplistic snapshot of the B.T. ecosystem but it does illustrate that although the local ecosystem had an intra-community support network that offset government dependency it did not create self-sufficiency.  The local economy was still vulnerable and lacking. Technology itself was the disruptor that exposed this.

Post technology  – P.T. 

The local ecosystem has become somewhat disparate as we  have entered into a world where  ‘technology as a solution’ has accelerated and is fast becoming the norm.  This has meant that we now live in an environment of continual change. The consequence of change is a disconnect in the local ecosystem.

The channels that used to be the default to support the local ecosystem now no longer work effectively.  This means the reliance on government funding and grants has become even more of a dependency than it was B.T.  This environment is now, more than ever before, counterproductive to self-sufficiency.

The investment and changes in government policy to embrace technology to realize the opportunity data sharing and delivery presents through the Smart Cities plan is the enabler.

To achieve sustainability as a solution, we must be able to quantify, qualify, and then, contexualise and commercialize shared data.

The ‘missing link’ or ‘fourth pillar’ is a ‘Smart Community’.

When this fourth pillar is integrated into the Smart Cities blueprint you are then able to commercialize validated and contextual data to create self-sufficiency.

The ‘how’ can only happen when the administration of a four pillar Smart City design is altruistic.  The administration body is a facilitator that is independent and impartial for the betterment of the communities it serves holistically.

A ‘Smart Community’ supports and sustains local business, community groups, sporting clubs, charities and nurtures startups.

The notion of  ‘support local first’ in regional towns and cities is not new. The reinvention of what local parochialism looks like and how communities can embrace this in the P.T. world is failing.

The wave of technology and the change it has bought to consumer’s behaviour has eroded our local economy’s resilience.  The sad reality is that a dysfunctional local economy is not cohesive or productive, let alone self-sustaining.

‘Smart Communities”  as a ‘plug-n-play’ into the Smart Cities Plan delivers a:

  • self-sufficient ecosystem
  • sense of belonging
  • shared vision
  • scalable platform
  • viable commercial solution for all stakeholders

How can we make it happen?   If you want to discuss this further please leave a comment below or contact me

 

Originally posted 2016-10-17 11:03:25.

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Survive to realize the entrepreneurial dream

Below are some questions to ask yourself to help you visualize what you need to do to create an action plan to survive as an entrepreneur. What should that look like? This is a ‘reality check’, as once you embark on your venture, the way you have answered these questions will be pivotal to your success.

survive as an entrepreneur

How to survive Q & A

Q1 How do I manage my money?  I need to make sure that I can look after myself and my family while I build my business.

Q2 What do look after my health? I need to make sure that I don’t fall ill or become overly stressed.

Q3 How will I prioritize my family time? I need to make sure that I spend time with them as a priority.

Q4  How will I make time for socializing with friends? I need to learn to shut off from the pressures of starting my own business.

Q5 What will I do to prioritize my time to make fitness a priority?

Q6 How will I manage my time to be productive while creating balanced?

Q7 What processes will I adhere to that will protect and nurture my business? I need to ensure ongoing cash flow to keep it cash positive.

Q8  How scalable is my business idea and implementation or will it stall after initial success?  How will I overcome this?

Q9 What does my ‘proof of concept’ look like? What do I need to do to make this happen?

Q10 How do I determine and who do I identify to collaborate with to grow my business while protecting my interests and IP?

Q11 What can I do to keep myself focused on the end game while still enjoying the journey?

Q12 Where do I look for investment and funding to make my idea a reality?

Want to learn more?

The Lean Startup by Eric Ries

How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses.

The Start Up of YOU by Reid Hoffman and Ben Casnocha

How do you survive and thrive in this fiercely competitive economy? You need a whole new entrepreneurial mindset and skill set. Drawing on the best of Silicon Valley, The Start-Up of You helps you accelerate your career and take control of your future–no matter your profession.

How to start a business with no money  by Trent Dyrsmid

Originally posted 2016-01-09 15:26:50.

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Startup formula for success

Sorry…there is no fool proof startup formula for success but you can put yourself on the track to success by following the below formula as a guide.

startup formula

 

 

 

 

 

 

The startup formula positions you to become customer centric.  Your next step is to ask yourself the following questions. The answers you give to these questions will help you determine your strategy as an entrepreneur. You need to be sure that your strategy will support you and help you to realize success.

Startup Survival Checklist

1/ How am I going to live and pay my bills while I work on my business ideas and they are being incubated?

2/How do I look after my health?

3/ What is the Unique Value Proposition that my business idea has that sets it apart from its competitors?

4/ Who will be my customers or audience?

5/ How is my business idea going to make money?

6/ Do I spend too much time playing with the ‘fluffy’ stuff?

7/ Who should I align and collaborate with to get the best outcome for all stakeholders?

8/ How will I get people to invest in my business idea?

9/ How will my business grow?

10/ How will I plan to overcome isolation, insulation and demotivation?

Balance and focus are key to being successful as a startup.  Your journey may be long so you need to be well prepared to weather the challenges ahead. Many great ideas have never been realized due to lack of due diligence on the part of the entrepreneur.  One of your best assets as an entrepreneur is to find at least two mentors who can advise and guide you.  Collaboration with complimentary or like-minded businesses is another tool that can strengthen your path to success.

If you live in the business always make sure your can still see outside the business.

Robyn Gunnis

 

 

Originally posted 2016-01-09 14:10:44.

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Survival Of The Fittest Checklist – Entrepreneur’s Guide

Survival for the entrepreneur is all about balance and focus. Your personal and business life also needs to be considered wisely to survive the challenges that  working with a startup brings.

survival of the fittest

 

Being an entrepreneur can be very rewarding but it comes with its fair share of challenges. To make your dream a reality you need to be dedicated and focused. The only way to do this successfully is to plan in advance yet you also need to be able to anticipate the ‘what if’s’ and how to’s’ to try to avoid them impacting or derailing what you are trying to achieve.

Ask yourself the following questions to help you determine your strategy as an entrepreneur. You need to be sure that your strategy will support you and help you to realize success.

Top 10 Entrepreneur’s Survival Checklist

1/ How am I going to live and pay my bills while I work on my business ideas as they are incubated?

2/How do I look after my health?

3/ What is the Unique Value Proposition that my business idea has that sets it apart from its competitors?

4/ Who will be my customers or audience?

5/ How is my business idea going to make money?

6/ Do I spend too much time playing with the ‘fluffy’ stuff ?

7/ Who should I align and collaborate with to get the best outcome for all stakeholders?

8/ How will I get people to invest in my business idea?

9/ How will my business grow?

10/ How will I plan to overcome isolation, insulation and demotivation?

If you live in the business always make sure your can still see outside the business.

Robyn Gunnis

Want to learn more?

The Lean Startup by Eric Ries

How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses.

The Start Up of YOU by Reid Hoffman and Ben Casnocha

How do you survive and thrive in this fiercely competitive economy? You need a whole new entrepreneurial mindset and skill set. Drawing on the best of Silicon Valley, The Start-Up of You helps you accelerate your career and take control of your future–no matter your profession.

How to start a business with no money  by Trent Dyrsmid

Originally posted 2016-01-08 17:32:16.

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Entrepreneur Survival Checklist

You have taken the leap into the world of entrepreneurism.  You are motivated, excited and enjoying the freedom you now have to create, innovate and explore your ideas and ventures. This entrepreneur survival checklist is a tool to help you stay focused and succeed.

entrepreneur's survival checklist

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

Steve Jobs

I am sure you will agree that an entrepreneur experience could be described as a feeling that you are at last set free. You have been given permission to be what you were meant to be and do what you were meant to do. Living the entrepreneur dream of not being locked into the 9-5 treadmill and no longer being dependent on working for someone else to help them realize their dreams feels like the right thing for you.

You probably are now asking yourself. ” Why on earth did I not do this earlier” ?

…and then you need to ask yourself the next question: “Am I prepared”?

Being an entrepreneur can be very rewarding but it comes with its fair share of challenges. To make your dream a reality you need to be dedicated and focused. The only way to do this successfully is to plan in advance, anticipating the ‘what if’s’ and how to’s’ to try to avoid them impacting or derailing what you are trying to achieve.

Ask yourself the following questions to help you determine your strategy as an entrepreneur. You need to be sure that your strategy will support you and help you to realize success.

Top 10 Entrepreneur’s Survival Checklist

1/ How am I going to live and pay my bills while I work on my business ideas as it is being incubated?

Determine a plan based on the resources you have available and a timeline for your project. This must be realistic and not assumptive.

2/How do I look after my health?

Am I engaging in regular physical exercise, sleeping well, giving myself permission to have downtime and spend time with my family and friends? It is important to be focused but try not to be consumed by your business. A hybrid 7 day week is expected, but scheduling personal time is essential to maintain a balance.

3/ What is the Unique Value Proposition that my business idea has that sets it apart from its competitors?

Those competitors may be active in market and in the space that your business idea will reside or they may be like businesses that have adopted parts of your idea but it may not be their core business. Networking with other entrepreneurs, especially those that are playing in your space, will help you identify your U.V.P. and potentially help you to recognize other points of difference you can leverage.

4/ Who will be my customers or audience?

Your business idea cannot be successful unless it is adopted or consumed. Don’t be afraid to research and explore a cross-section of who you think your intended audience or customers are. Find out what they think about your business idea. You don’t have to give the game away just ask questions to determine a scenario of need or want versus motivation. Take the time to look at similar ideas and where they fell short or are successful to streamline your business idea.

5/ How is my business idea going to make money?

All in all they say money makes the world go around and although this is not necessary to find initial success it does help to attract investment and resource to realize the potential of your business idea. A sound commercial strategy, that although based on projection, has robust data to support assumptions, will be one of the first thing investors will be looking at.

6/ Do I spend too much time playing with the ‘fluffy’ stuff?

High level business structure and strategy are important, but actioning these steps with a solid go to market operational plan will ensure that you adhere to your timeline, which is important and relative to Question 1. Entrepreneurs can spend a lot of time thinking and not enough time doing. Both are important but need to be balanced to reach milestones.

7/ Who should I align and collaborate with to get the best outcome for all stakeholders?

Entrepreneurs who go solo are destined for a lonely and isolated journey with less opportunity for success than those who collaborate and network ideas, equity and resource. You must play to your strengths and look to others to assist where you have weaknesses or lack of experience and credibility when building a startup team. The people you choose to align your business with can be your greatest asset when you are going through the seeding and subsequent funding rounds for your business …..so choose wisely.

8/ How will I get people to invest in my business idea?

When you have answered questions 3,4,5,6 and 7 you are better positioned to not only determine who would be likely to invest but where to find those investment opportunities and create the opportunity to make them happen.

9/ How will my business grow?

The people you recruit will either make or break your business so positioning the growth strategy of your business will make the difference between scalability and stalling. Everyone is dispensable, even you, and the smarter your decisions on the roles and responsibilities of your staff the more effective and efficient your business model will be.

10/ How will I plan to overcome isolation, insulation and demotivation?

One of the biggest downfalls of being an entrepreneur is the extreme highs that can be followed by extreme lows. One of these lows which is common is isolation and insulation from the world around you which often leads to you becoming demotivated. Identify what will make you feel isolated, insulated or demotivated to avoid this happening. Many entrepreneurs dedicate so much of their time to their business that how they prioritize and spend their time can easily become blurred. Working smarter and more strategically is always better than working harder to deliver the outcomes you want in a timely manner.

If you live in the business always make sure your can still see outside the business.

Robyn Gunnis

Want to learn more?

The Lean Startup by Eric Ries

How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses.

The Start Up of YOU by Reid Hoffman and Ben Casnocha

How do you survive and thrive in this fiercely competitive economy? You need a whole new entrepreneurial mindset and skill set. Drawing on the best of Silicon Valley, The Start-Up of You helps you accelerate your career and take control of your future–no matter your profession.

How to start a business with no money  by Trent Dyrsmid

 

 

Originally posted 2015-06-14 10:16:53.

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Interruption V Disruption: Which creates change resilience?

Interruption creates a trajectory of progressive transition while disruption creates a trajectory of more rapid transformation.

If your business is change or risk averse ‘interruption’ can introduce the opportunity for your employees to engage and take ownership of change incrementally.  This is less confrontational than ‘disruption’ and allows the business to experience evolution rather than revolution.  Interruption can encourage an appetite and accelerate change by kick-starting momentum. This can build the foundation for a change resilient workplace.

creates

5 different ways ‘interruption’ can introduce and creates change

Start-ups

Your business can learn and benefit from enabling and embracing relationships with start-ups, SME’s and entrepreneurs. Actively mentoring, nurturing or investing in an innovation hub will enable your business to keep your finger on the digital pulse.

You can offset being disrupted and work towards future-proofing your business when you discover where industry, non-industry, and best practices may impact on where your business model is heading. Entertaining opportunity proactively advantages your business in a competitive or even a duopoly market.

Encouraging intrapreneurial behaviour within your business is a natural flow-on from engaging and partnering with an ideation and innovative community.

Tools

How can your business do things smarter using digital tools when you are making decisions in your business? Asking this question will facilitate a fundamental mind-shift that will start to evolve your business.  Digital tools are only advantageous when they are introduced, integrated and aligned to work and play well with existing platforms and channels.  Becoming aware of and learning more about tools and trends will educate your business. Your business will learn how it can improve its productivity as well as business efficiency and effectiveness.

Access

Exposure through strategic partnerships, alignments and affiliations are imperative to position your business to be open to opportunity and change. This is a great way to realize quick wins and stick your toes in the water.  A ‘risk’ shared, where the value and benefit are clearly defined, will deliver more gain than pain when done effectively. This is always attractive when introducing a change in direction to an established business.

Resources

Your employees are your greatest asset. Investment in their education, enrichment, role alignment and career progression is integral to your success. When your employees have confidence, feel their skill set is relevant and relative this is reflected in their performance.  Encouraging ideation, intrapreneurs and brainstorming are essential to creating engagement and ownership. When your employees are performance-enhanced your business will benefit notably in your change transformation process.  The introduction of prototyping to visualize, communicate and socialize innovation and ideation will also enrich thinking and drive change.  This will assist your business to realize outcomes.  When nurtured this supports an informed business environment that will breed confidence and allays the fear of failure. This encourages your employees to become involved and engage.

Technology

Technology, when identified and aligned with a ‘living’ digital strategy, will create agility. This can co-exist with legacy systems as your business transitions.  To be effective new technology much demonstrate that it can enhance, supersede or be able to address redundancy in your technology ecosystem. Your business does not need to erase your technology footprint and start again to start to introduce change. When an investment has already been made to establish expensive technology platforms a business can be reluctant to introduce a new approach. They may feel that this may accelerate the redundancy of the existing platform.  Demonstrated compatibility and a transition plan that maximizes value and reduces overheads will overcome resistance from invested parties.

Remember ‘interruption’ or ‘disruption’ without strategic planning is naive and somewhat foolhardy.  Smart business’ must invest in the process of auditing, assessing and benchmarking their business first to make informed decisions that will evoke change.  Interruption and disruption are approaches to change, not solutions.

To accelerate your business’ digital transformation journey you need to determine if the approach should be ‘interruption’ or ‘disruption’. This is important to stop your business stalling when it faces changes that take your employees out of their comfort zone.

Originally posted 2016-10-22 15:02:38.

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