How To Build A Disruptive And Undisruptable Business (5 Actionable Tips)

By Julie Choo

Published: November 18, 2021

Last Update: December 20, 2021

In challenging times, is it possible to become an undisruptable business ?
Does the answer lie in business design for disruption ?

Business Model disruption has been rampant in our fast digital economy over the past decade, with many digital services supported by the latest technologies such as AI, replacing traditional businesses and jobs. The Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic has only served to accelerate this disruption, as many people have had to resort to digital channels in order to access many services in their daily lives.

In fact, according to the Scott Galloway, entrepreneur, professor, podcast host and author of New York Times Best Seller, “Post Corona: From Crisis to Opportunity” (2021, Penguin), many new services and trends have not only emerged but accelerated in maturity with mass user adoption, by about 10 years, but in just one year since the start of the pandemic.

What’s clear is that whatever you do today, it could quickly become obsolete and redundant as customers and users flock to the next service or tool, especially if you remain complacent and stop learning and innovating. This applies to both your career and to your company or business, whatever role you play in it, be that employee, stakeholder, executive or business owner and entrepreneur.

It’s so important to accept that ‘change is constant’ and so is ‘disruption’… and so taking an approach or mindset to keep disrupting yourself and your business or projects might be the best path forward. This is how you keep the POWER in own hands so to speak, where you can control: whether you get disrupted and to what extent, BUT also HOW you disrupt and HOW to GROW from it.

This is what we propose in THE STRATEGY JOURNEY path...

BUSINESS DESIGN FOR DISRUPTION

Business Design for Disruption is a guided roadmap of steps to help you discover and seize new opportunities.


5 Actionable tips to conduct business design for disruption

Here are the TOP 5 Tips from THE STRATEGY JOURNEY path – Business Design for Disruption as highlighted in the image snapshots (below) of THE STRATEGY JOURNEY Book (2020), that you can follow to build the skills and experiences that enable foresight and business agility in your business or organization. These strategies and tactics will naturally support your career growth too, as many successful executives, entrepreneurs, business owners and influencers have done…

Business Design for Disruption TOP TIP #1:
Understand your business ecosystem and their change impacts

Prevent yourself and your business from being blind-sighted and constantly having to firefight for survival.

Conduct research through a PESTLE analysis to work out how each of these factors in the business ecosystem could impact your business, that is your company and/or your career. Ensure you indicate what is the influence of each factor and how might you or your business need to change considering how it operates today: 

  • Political 
  • Economic
  • Social
  • Technology
  • Legal
  • Environmental
THE STRATEGY JOURNEY Book (2020) by Choo and Christison
Pages 93-94 of THE STRATEGY JOURNEY Book (2020) by Choo and Christison

Be sure to keep your PESTLE Analysis up to date yearly at least but more importantly, make sure you know the impacts each possible disruptive factor can bring, both good and bad. Remember change can be positive or negative depending on your perspective. So learn how to identify opportunities from taking a positive ‘growth mindset’ approach to solving your problems. 

Business Design for Disruption TOP TIP #2: Gather your Operating Model’s current performance (including competitor analysis)

A company’s current operations and its business agility can certainly foster its speed to market and speed of service, as well as its speed to change and transform. How ready or prepared and how good is the business at making changes can make all the difference in its future operations. This ‘speed in transformation’ can certainly aid a company to become a business disruptor and in doing so… it can become an undisruptable business.

Conduct a SWOT analysis to identify your company’s STRENGTH, WEAKNESSES, OPPORTUNITIES and THREATS. Align these to its current OPERATING MODEL components of PEOPLE, PROCESS, DATA, TECHNOLOGY SYSTEMS, by LOCATION. Be sure to include what you do digitally or virtually too. Are there any potential lost opportunities if the company can’t act fast to make changes? What are these opportunity costs? Be sure to map these internal factors with external factors too, to discover any correlations. That’s how you join-the-dots. 

Pages 91-92 of THE STRATEGY JOURNEY Book (2020) by Choo and Christison

How is the company performing across its TOP 1-3 value propositions (ie. its service offerings or products)? What are the trends in its profitability? Where are they on the innovation adoption lifecycle – in what stage are they in… GROWTH or DECLINE or somewhere in between? How does this compare with its direct competitors?

Pages 99-100 of THE STRATEGY JOURNEY Book (2020) by Choo and Christison

Business Design for Disruption TOP TIP #3:
Identify priority business challenges and align it to the company’s MISSION MODEL BLUEPRINT

Pages 9-10 of THE STRATEGY JOURNEY Book (2020) by Choo and Christison

Businesses have many things that can challenge how they grow and change. In fact there are 10 universal business challenges or problems face by all businesses as highlighted in THE STRATEGY JOURNEY. The key to success is prioritizing which of these challenges need to be tackled first, and then being clear on what key goals and S.M.A.R.T. objectives your business transformation efforts, will seek to achieve.

Pages 87-88 of THE STRATEGY JOURNEY Book (2020) by Choo and Christison

Once you’re clear on your TOP1-3 challenges, then you’re ready to review, clarify and even develop your MISSION MODEL BLUEPRINT that is  linked to the your PRIORITY problems and setup for success… with clarity of direction too. There’s a fully worked example of the TESLA Mission Model Blueprint in the book covering their strategic plan from 2019.

Pages 255-256 of THE STRATEGY JOURNEY Book (2020) by Choo and Christison

Hint: Make sure to include flexibility for further disruptions and influencers, both external and internal from #1 as well as #2 that could impact your business, its ability to change and its overall performance.

Business Design for Disruption TOP TIP #4:
Review current Business Models and identify opportunities for Business Model DIGITIZATION through the Operating Model

A company that has already begun its digital transformation journey and with high levels of maturity is much better equipped to weather the storm from disruptive forces much better than those who haven’t – making it a possibly undisruptable business.

Review the current business models used by your company on its TOP 1-3 value propositions from #2 and #3, relative to competitors? Be sure to dive into the data associated with customers or clients, especially when it comes to their behaviors especially towards digital services and in their overall expectations around their customer and user experiences? 

Pages 159-160 of THE STRATEGY JOURNEY Book (2020) by Choo and Christison

What are the current levels of digitization in the way that the business is operating in its Operating Model to service customers? Discover its digital maturity using a Digital Maturity Index to identify gaps and opportunities for digitization of its business model if implemented in the Operating Model (ie. across operations end-to-end)? What are the different ways to grow the business through innovation? THE STRATEGY JOURNEY has a priority Digital Operating Model Maturity Index and a Service Innovation Matrix to help you conduct the appropriate analysis for this gap analysis.

Pages 187-188 of THE STRATEGY JOURNEY Book (2020) by Choo and Christison

Once you’ve conducted the gap analysis, then you can update these opportunities in the goals and objectives in the company’s MISSION MODEL BLUEPRINT from #3, should you choose to prioritize them. This is how you ‘join the dots’.

Business Design for Disruption TOP TIP #5:
Develop a GAME PLAN with a path for success, and a MVP that could give you a first move competitive advantage

Most projects and the people who work on them… make the mistake of spending time and money on a complicated roadmap of activities that might not even work, especially in our extremely turbulent times, where disruptions are so common, both from the digital economy and other influencers. But with disruption so rampant, changes are inevitable so most roadmaps don’t work or they can quickly become obsolete or they are still inappropriately focused on delivering what are now the wrong or misaligned outcomes and benefits, that is of less or even no value to customers and stakeholders.

Instead of a roadmap or project plan, it is better to come up with an agile game plan first. In fact, a game plan can comprise many roadmaps for each of the phases or smaller projects that form it. The key is to make sure these are all connected of course.

In THE STRATEGY JOURNEY extended framework, and as part of our deep dive training courses for practitioners in the STRATEGY JOURNEY Learning Pathway including our courses in the Business Design for Disruption path, we get you to consider the 4 steps to developing a winning Game Plan by understanding the context, consequences, ideal scenario and solution proposal of different problems. We also introduce and get to you practice developing this Game Plan with an MVP or using an MVP approach with a set of phased projects that deliver over time through co-creation with customers and users.

Pages 117-118 of THE STRATEGY JOURNEY Book (2020) by Choo and Christison

An MVP can be a ‘Minimum Viable Proposition’, that can include the innovation of a new product or a new service, but it can also be a ‘Minimum Viable Project’ to solve a specific problem that you have in the company or your career journey too, where you are co-creating with customers and users. What’s important is that you have a clearly identified USP, a Unique Selling Point that makes the MVP standout and worth while, because it will provide the means to form a competitive advantage. This is how you grow, from a small SEED or ‘little win’ to create a mountain of value from an ocean of opportunity, where you can built that ‘big win’. It is also how you avoid overwhelm as well as wasting time and money, your investment, on the wrong activities where ROI (return on investment) is compromised.

Pages 177-178 of THE STRATEGY JOURNEY Book (2020) by Choo and Christison

Make sure that you define an MVP is aligned to the S.M.A.R.T. objectives you set out in the Mission Model Blueprint from #3 and updated in #4, or use the MVP to redraw your strategic plan, making it the core foundation of your future Operating Model and the platform for continuous transformation with business agility.

And taking this approach to creating a game plan as part of the business design for disruption path… is what makes the business agile and an undisruptable business.


In these 5 Top Tips from the Business Design for Disruption path in THE STRATEGY JOURNEY methodology… are five steps you can take on your next strategy journey, to help your business and your career, not only avoid disruption, or overcome the threat of disruption but also start to work on developing the capabilities and skills that will make you both capable of being the disruptor in the ‘game of business’ and your future career journey – that is an undisruptable business.

Julie Choo

About the author

Julie Choo is lead author of THE STRATEGY JOURNEY book and the founder of STRATABILITY ACADEMY. She speaks regularly at numerous tech, careers and entrepreneur events globally. Julie continues to consult at large Fortune 500 companies, Global Banks and tech start-ups. As a lover of all things strategic, she is a keen Formula One fan who named her dog, Kimi (after Raikkonnen), and follows football - favourite club changes based on where she calls home.

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