UberHealth is on the drawing board and will deliver flu shots. Uber is taking on the cab industry, supermarkets, the health sector, Amazon.com and the catering industry – all at the same time. What will be next?

The idea of disruptive innovation is nothing new. It was launched by the Harvard professor Clayton M. Christensen in his book The Innovator’s Dilemma from 1997, which has had enormous influence the last 20 years. But something has happened. The digital revolution has hit us for real. There is an abundance of digital start-ups driven by digital natives, who are able to grab huge bites of the behemoths’ market shares in a very short time, and no-one saw them coming. The newspaper Boersen has run an article series on the digital rebels using the internet, smartphones, digital tools and digital business models to disrupt. It creates both major challenges and opportunities for established companies.

The challenges could e.g. be:

  • When can you expect to be hit by an Uber, Airbnb or Netflix in your industry?
  • How do you monitor the “disruptive” signals in your terrain?
  • How offensive a stance should you take with respect to the threats and opportunities in the market?
  • Should you bet everything on disrupting yourself, set up minor speedboat teams with unlimited authority or “seek the good company” through acquisitions/partnerships?
  • How do you continuously challenge the market and yourself in the optimal way?
  • Should you attack or defend – or both?

On November 9,CNN, Advice and Valcon held a workshop on disruptions in the B2C market with 30 Danish top executives who on this occasion were asked to remove their nice suit jackets and put on hoodies. It may sound like a cliché, but it actually worked. The workshop was about finding your inner entrepreneurial spirit and energy, and this process is helped along by changing the “uniform”.

  • “It is not so much about ideas, it is more about people and the energy and attitude they exude,” stated CNN’s technology correspondent Laurie Segall, who flew in directly from Silicon Valley to facilitate the workshop.
  • Some of the recommendations the participants produced during the day included:
  • (Re)find the entrepreneurial spirit and energy
  • Create a culture in which it is heroic to fail and take risks. Because errors are a source of development
  • Find the courage and curiosity to tackle the unknown
  • Create work methods for faster and more flexible prototypes – or pretotypes Test news quickly on the market, good or no good?
  • Stay up to date with tech blogs, online discussions and conferences such as e.g. Websummit, f.ounders, DLD and TechCrunch Disrupt. Be visible with sponsorships, articles, comments and presentations
  • Keep in touch with investors, venture capitalists and business angels. They have their finger on the pulseBuild a speedboat team outside of the organisation which has free reins to develop, or strive for a Dual Strategy and challenge yourself
  • Make yourself open and attractive to start-ups, they must want to play ball with you
  • Get up to speed, flexibility in all dimensions is your best weapon

Use your weekend to reflect on how you would knock out your current business if you had to start all over from your garage.