The Disruption Ready Organization in a COVID Economy
The COVID-19 pandemic has not only had a singular, disruptive impact on the entire planet, it has thrown fuel on the fire of disruption’s other manifestations.
The reality of disruption is that it has always walked hand-in-hand with human expansion, ingenuity, invention, and innovation. In fact, for all of human history, one person’s innovation has inevitably been someone else’s disruption.
However, disruption today is different due to its scope and scale, the speed of change, and the systemic consequences of its impacts. COVID-19 has intensified all of these.
When an operating environment already teetering between complexity and chaos tips into a new operating state, no organisation or individual is likely to escape the consequences. In this new reality, disruption is most often experienced as a merciless headwind rather than a powerful and energizing tailwind. Simply knowing about “disruption” is no longer enough.
Instead, disruption readiness has become a primary imperative for organizations and their leaders. It requires:
- Developing a mindset that is open to thinking ahead, embracing complexity, and harnessing change;
- Cultivating a skill-set focused on pursuing the opportunities that disruption creates;
- Activating a “strategy in action” that embraces new and agile approaches to strategic thinking and action; and
- Changing ahead of change.
For most organizations and individuals, understanding, embracing, and leveraging disruption in this way is the test of our time. The reality is that too many were already not up to the task. COVID-19 has merely ripped the band-aid off.
The Disruption Ready Organization Diagnostic
The Disruption Ready Organization (DRO) diagnostic is a tool that assists executives, senior leaders, and key staff to objectively and collectively self-assess the disruption readiness of their organisations. In other words, it helps them to answer a critical question, “Are you ready to leverage disruption?”
The diagnostic also identifies key areas of strength to leverage and gaps to address across eight key indicators. These have been developed through a combination of research and feedback from organizations about the key areas of focus that enable change ahead of change.
Finally, through regular retesting, organizations can objectively examine whether their investments into becoming disruption ready are actually moving the needle.
Why Disruption Readiness Matters in the COVID Economy
As the converging social, economic, environmental, political, health, and technological implications of the COVID pandemic start to become clear, organizations must quickly examine how they are placed relative to these disruptions.
Becoming over-focused on the immediate impacts of the pandemic and losing sight of the other disruptions yet to come is a key risk at this time. Equally, there are real opportunities to seize in this period of time.
In many ways, making the most of the COVID Economy is practice for further disruption to come.
We know from the data we have collected to date that many organizations have a general awareness of disruption. But the data also shows they largely do not know how to re-set their focus, capabilities, people, culture, and supply networks to be ready for what comes next.