Disrupting Disruption: How to Thrive in an Ever-Changing Business Landscape

Imagine rebuilding the Eiffel Tower every day.

And I don’t mean doing it the same each time. I mean fashioning that chunk of steel each morning into some new architectural form it has never existed before.
That’s what many businesses are experiencing right now.

The breakneck speed of change brought about by AI makes organizations feel like putting out fires that never stop—one with flames that are moving and growing. Just when they think they’ve gotten the knack of doing work in this modern era, the proverbial rug is pulled from underneath them and they find themselves adapting to a completely new situation.

So, how do businesses thrive in a time of rapid and constant flux?
Here are 5 things businesses can do:

#1 Follow the customer.

Innovators will innovate, and there will always be something new coming out of the pipeline every day. Don’t blindly follow technology or bleed at its edges. Or be tempted to always make the first move on the shiny new thing.

Your focus as a business organization should always be on the customer. And the good news is that customer tastes don’t evolve as fast as technology. Innovations and developments, by definition, are always ahead of customer behaviour.

Innovations and technological advancements may already be zooming at the 900th kilometre, but customer preferences (and awareness) are lumbering way behind. So save yourself the trouble of getting behind every new technology because customer bases don’t always adopt all available technology.

There will always be news of innovations that you think will impact your industry. That won’t always be the case. Customers oftentimes ignore these, save a few. It won’t catch on no matter how good it is. Take for example the slew of environmentally friendly products that are supposed to be good for our environment.

#2 Use data analytics to monitor changes.

Okay, now that you’ve turned your sights away from the shiny new thing, you have to stay eagle-eyed on your customer base.

Your customers are the reason for the existence of your business. They determine which products/services you produce, in what quantities, and in what ways. The changes that you adopt as an organization should be a reflection of the changes in your customer.

Are they shifting to a different ordering platform? You go there.

Are their order frequency and order size changing? You respond appropriately.
You need to monitor these changes and spot trends early on.
This is possible because “continuously evolving” doesn’t mean “completely random.” Your guys will give you plenty of clues as long as you’re looking.
If you want to be in lockstep with their tastes, use data analytics to get a more granular look at what’s taking place.

You can do this manually, but you will be missing some detail. Experiments have shown that AI will often catch something that the human eye has missed.

Data analytics is a good way to go when it comes to making decisions about what changes should be implemented in the company.

It doesn’t even have to be your data. You can look at publicly available data and draw insights and conclusions from it.

#3 Plan For Different Scenarios.

The reality of it is that nobody can really predict the future. But you can have an organization that’s armed and ready for whatever is going to happen next. That calls for some “scenario planning.”

You need to develop a list of plausible scenarios and come up with a list of events/developments that can significantly impact your organization in the short and medium term. For example, if you’re a consulting company, some of the scenarios that might be on your list would include:

-AI replacing consultancy services.
-The rise of an aggressive start-up from left field.
-Your competitors consolidating.
-A novel pricing model becoming mainstream (eg. subscription-based, outcome-based)
-The niche you’re consulting for suddenly becoming obsolete.

The list would depend on your industry and you will have to exercise judgment on what makes your list.
It can also be useful to differentiate between “short-term” or “medium-term” scenarios.
You then analyze the impact of these scenarios and develop an action plan outlining your strategy for navigating these potential futures.

You might find some actions are applicable to multiple scenarios, so prioritize implementing them. For example, in the consulting business mentioned above, nurturing close relationships with clients is a common thread that will be strategic whatever situation unfolds.

One can’t really predict the future so there are no guarantees here. But the exercise itself of thinking through the changes in your industry helps with the readiness so you maintain your organizational balance when disruptions do roll in.

#4 Test Pilot Your Programs.

You don’t want to over-commit and marshal a significant chunk of resources, only to find that the situation has changed. Just as you don’t want to chase every new technological development, you don’t want to respond to every change. That may very well be temporary and you don’t want to align your ship to changes that are at best, fleeting.

AI has really made a moving target out of industries. A little movement can be exponential in its effect—both in good and bad ways.

So make small moves first. Even if you’re a big company. Maybe you can try the program out in one department, or do it once or twice a week. Don’t go all out, making big changes, only to take it back after a few days.

You want to test the waters first and put a little trial run of the changes so that you don’t shock the system or turn your organization schizophrenic, with confused people not knowing what to do.

#5 Build a Learning Organization.

Forget about AI stealing jobs…it’s obliterating entire industries.
It is indeed a very unpredictable time. And things won’t go back to “normal.” This state of flux is the new normal.

Your best bet in a situation such as this is to have a group of people who can dance to the music. That’s a learning organization. It’s a team composed of employees who are continuously adaptable, which means it doesn’t matter what the future holds. They will roll with it.

They possess the agility and resilience to navigate uncertain and ever-changing environments. They thrive on embracing new challenges and opportunities, constantly seeking knowledge and evolving their skills to stay ahead of the curve.

Having an organization composed of people like that is having an organization immune from the uncertainties happening all around. (Because they’ll go with the change anyway.)
You want an organization that’s not married to one way of doing things, but a group of people who are mentally flexible to deal with anything that lies ahead.

In a rapidly-evolving world, you need people who can adapt and respond quickly.

So those are the 5 things business organizations can do to not just survive but thrive in an ever-changing landscape.

We at Kinetic Innovative Staffing know a thing or two about the importance of finding employees who are quick to adapt to changing situations.
We help companies find remote professionals for any role they may require, and have a pool of over 4 million professionals from various fields—from computer programmers to customer service representatives.

At the opening of this post, we talked about building a new kind of Eiffel every day. Well, that kind of project needs some very competent draftsmen. And Kinetic happens to have a roster of Rockstar Draftsmen ready to take on any challenge. (You can browse that catalogue right now. (Click here for details.)

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If this sounds like something you would like to explore, or if you have any questions, contact us and we’ll get you sorted out.

Kinetic Innovative Staffing has been providing hundreds of companies in the Asia Pacific, North America, the Middle East, and Europe with professionals working remotely from the Philippines since 2013. Get in touch to know more.

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