Disruption. One of the buzz words lately over-used and misunderstood. The standard business definition is “radical change to an existing industry or market due to technological innovation.”
I would argue is not always technological. And is that radical change good or bad? Is disruption good or bad?
The fact of the matter is, DISRUPTION IS THE NEW NORMAL.
Whether we like it or not, as business owners, as consumers, as social citizens, we better embrace it. It is the new norm and will only continually cycle and accelerate.
If it is self-disruption, or at least a state of managed or accepted disruption, it can benefit our enterprise.
This agility and flexibility to take on disruption and capitalize through it and because of it, should even be a capability or culture that is driven in an organization. It will change the way customers expect products/services and experiences, it will change the way workers produce, and it will change the way we must manage our business models.
In automotive, we could highlight a lot of major and recent disruptions. There is the pandemic effect amplified by home delivery and mobile service. There is the new mobility ecosystem accelerating around access to transportation on-demand. There is the new wave of EVs coming on due to many factors including gas and oil prices and a drive to a sustainable economy. Many technologies are disruptive to our previous industry and business models such as Cloud computing, Artificial Intelligence, Augmented and Virtual Reality, 5G and more. These technologies enable new experiences, real-time information, constant connectivity, and an overall overhaul of traditional, sequential, and transactional engagements.
An illustrative landscape of some of the disruptive forces, effects and outcomes is pictured below.
In the automotive retailer world, what have we seen in terms of disruption, again not just technological impacts but all kinds of disruptions or “disturbances”.
There are quite a few, including but not limited to:
…and much more.
The real question is, what do we do about it? How do we handle these disruptions? How do we survive and capitalize on disruption and build our business into future-proof models?
The hard part, even though I asked the questions, is that there is no easy answer. There is no one solution, one technology, or even one way to ensure that your business can survive and thrive in the future.
I have heard before, “we cannot predict the future, but we must plan for multiple futures.” Good advice.
Meaning nobody knows what exactly the world, our industry or our business may look like in 5 years, 10 years and certainly not beyond. Anybody see the supply chain shortage coming 3 years ago? Anybody think Tesla would be on of the Top 10 market cap companies 10 years ago?
52% of the Fortune 500 companies from 2000 are extinct. That is not a typo. Read that again.
So, there is no 100% prediction, and there is no one easy answer. But the recipe for success in an ongoing continuous cycle through any disruption must include some basic core operating principles and capabilities.
These may sound high-level and unachievable for a dealership. But they are not, and they can’t be. They must be driven into the culture of your business.
A tall order indeed. But if we think of and build our dealership business model more as a dynamic platform of capabilities and assets to accomplish the above and more, we can succeed in multiple paths of revenue streams.
It is not easy to accept that our business must be under a constant state of transformation.
But in order to continually survive, thrive and innovate we must always be in that continuous state of transformation. Be comfortable with being uncomfortable. Because one thing is certain, the future is exactly what we think it will be.
Get used to it and realize we have to deal with it continuously and forever. Capitalize on the fact that if done right, we can enable our business to dynamically flex in new directions and new models to support and thrive in multiple paths. Put focus and effort on the notion that are business is a platform of capabilities, not a rigid set of workflows.
With the focus on the North Star of customer experience driving your business, the capabilities can be dynamically developed to withstand all change and disruption.
MBA Marketing. Innovative Marketeer. Over 27 years of experience driving brand and customer strategy into market and profit realization. Director and VP level positions in world-class organizations including IBM, General Motors, JD Power, and PricewaterhouseCoopers. Dennis has led multi-million engagements in go-to-market approaches, e-commerce strategy, revenue growth, and business transformation at blue chip clients, multiple industries, and successful start-ups.
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