The Myths of Disruption and Change – Building The Agile Business
When we think about the impact of digital technologies on the modern business environment there’s a prevailing narrative now around disruptive new market entrants, and accelerating and exponential change. This is often expressed in talk of the ‘Uberisation’ of entire industries, or catchy soundbiteslike: ‘the pace of change has never been this fast, yet it will never be this slow again’. Or demonstrated with graphs like Nicholas Felton’s for the New York Times that shows how technology consumption is spreading faster than ever (the telephone took decades to reach a penetration of 50% of U.S households yet the mobile phone took less than five years). Or supported by studies such as that conducted by Professor Richard Foster at Yale University that showed that the average lifespan of a company in the S&P 500 index has decreased from 61 years in 1958 to just 18 years now (although the detail is arguably more nuanced). Yet the reality is perhaps not as clear cut as this picture suggests.