Over the last twenty years, digital has morphed from a growing communication channel to the communication channel of choice. In fact, even the word “digital” is becoming vague and obsolete, and it’s quickly being replaced by “tech” or “technology.” Still, understanding the term digital disruption is important for keeping up with a world that advances every time we blink.
Why digital disruption matters to you
Digital disruption is not a negative statement (even if some people struggle to appreciate it). It’s simply another way to refer to upheavals in technology that disrupt the status quo of the marketplace. For example, a recent digital disruption that’s gaining power is spatial technology, which includes virtual, mixed, and augmented reality. Another current disruption pairs voice technology with the advent of ubiquitous and cognitive AI, which see more tech powered by artificial intelligence every month, from vacuums to home assistants to refrigerators.
Even if you don’t dip your fingers into any of these disruptions to the market, you’re probably feeling pressure from at least one side. Wi-Fi’s getting faster, screens keep getting sharper, and a new push for personalization individualizes experiences for every customer.
Even if digital disruption hasn’t yet come knocking on your company door, you need to be prepared. If it doesn’t happen today, it will happen tomorrow. The tech upheaval’s not leaving anyone unaffected — for better or for worse. Here are three ways to use digital disruption to boost your business’s growth.
1. Hire with change on your mind
Bringing in new people to your company is a change in and of itself, so why not bring in new people with the purpose of change? Chief Digital Officer, Chief Growth Officer, Chief Customer Officer — these are all examples of the new titles emerging as businesses and organizations work toward improving their digital presence and boosting digital initiatives. These thought-leaders are part of a newer organizational role called change management.
Change management isn’t just a title — it has certifications and even graduate-level degrees to back it up. When hiring a change manager, make sure they have experience and knowledge to put solid reasoning behind their changes.
This is critical because change managers are meant to move, shake, and disrupt the status quo. They’re meant to keep you and your business up to date on the newest changes in the technological world. The people you hire in these roles need to be innovative, bold, and knowledgeable about all the ways change can help your business ride the wave of digital disruption. Just make sure that your change managers can help you. To do this, position them high enough in your business that they have the authority to make change happen.
If your business embraces a lot of traditional thinking, prepare for some uncomfortable moments. But understand that feeling uncomfortable is OK. It’s part of the growing process, and in fact, you could see discomfort as a sign of positive growth. It’s important to just keep moving forward.
2. Build growth and change into your culture
The status quo is a thing of the past. To keep up with technology, many companies are penning growth, curiosity, and risk-taking into their core values. But this change to culture doesn’t just mean being curious — it also challenges the role of seniority and “years of experience.” While neither is negative, what matters isn’t “what has always worked,” but rather “what works right now.”
Continuous data and research are absolutely critical to staying up and ahead. This means that whoever has the correct data should make strategic decisions, whether they’re a senior of twenty years or a newbie of two weeks.
In other words, in the face of great data, everyone’s equal.
3. Commit to big risks for big rewards
Staying up on technology means you’re one of the first to implement it into your business. This carries some big risks — and equally big rewards. Technology is a wave that just keeps on coming. You can’t dip in a toe or you’ll be knocked over. You have to dive right in. Your strategy, your people, your purchases — everything should reflect your effort to change and grow alongside technology.
Start feeling like you’re running ahead
Think about a technology change you’ve wanted for a while now. Perhaps your website still uses Adobe Flash. Maybe your LMS is from 2003. Maybe you’re excited about VR and you’ve been secretly eyeing the Pimax.
Getting any of those updated involves change, and with that change comes some risk. But don’t let that risk overshadow the reward. If you step forward, you’ll gain a new perspective, and suddenly, that reward will look so much bigger.
It’s time to turn tech innovation in your favor. Don’t dread the disruption. Be the disruption.