Disruption is a Process

On April 24, 2012, in HR Trends, HRExaminer, by John Sumser

Disruption is a Process- by John Sumser - HRExaminer

Disruption is most likely to happen in the heart of market leaders.

 Disruption is a Process

Today, we’re publishing the first in a series of free white papers about the various forms of disruption that are entering the HR and HRTechnology industries. Disruption undermines the existing ways of doing business by providing a faster, lower cost, higher quality alternative.

The first paper in the series is called, “New Models in Outplacement: Disruption Comes to HR”. You can download a free copy here.

In future papers, we’ll look at HR’s role in privacy, the emergence of Talent Markets, Cheap video’s impact on Training, Employment Branding using social media and a host of other topics.

Here is a sample section from “New Models in Outplacement: Disruption Comes to HR“:

The pattern of disruption repeats itself with frightening consistency. Look at the last hundred years of corporate history. The most consistent predictor of marketplace failure is sustained marketplace success. Somehow, the seeds of dissolution are virtually always sown in sustained performance. Disruption is most likely to happen in the heart of market leaders.

Disruption is an approach to innovation that allows new players to successfully subvert an existing hierarchy. They do not match exiting performance standards. Instead, new players serve their customers differently.

As the disruptor perfects its technology and approach, it begins to unseat the established market leaders. Beginning with the low end of the market, the new entrant marches forward delivering previously unheard of value at a surprising price. Ultimately, they reach a tipping point where they are delivering enough of the old school value and more of the new. At the tipping point, the market shifts.

There is nothing quite like the feeling of being a market leader as disruption takes root. To this day, the music industry calls its customers pirates and sues them– as if it would turn back the tide. Hard disk drive manufacturers struggle to deliver solid-state technology. Retailers are puzzling how make their physical locations relevant as the FedEx driver replaces their clerks. Electronics retailers look on in horror as customers  shop their inventory, and then order from Amazon while standing in the store.

Predictably, those being upended blame their customers, demonize the upstarts, and seek solace in relationships with large, long-term customers. The solutions put forth by the upstarts seem to come out of a universe that is impossible to imagine. If late fees are the key to profitability, how can you stay in business without them? If record companies are the keys to distribution, what do you do when distribution is everywhere? If people only buy the music that they really like, what happens to the album?

Being disrupted feels like you’re tied to a stake in a burning fire while the vandals dance around and taunt you. Bad behavior tends to break out as the incumbents respond to their feelings. When they begin to bad-mouth the new entrants, you know you’re near the tipping point.

  • Hi John,
    Like this a lot. Timely with the demise of old school brands (eg Kodak).
    I wonder where instances like the Facebook acqusition of Instagram fits in though. Have Facebook acquired the disruptive innovator? Also wonder how the recent move by Twitter to protect its employees patent rights, fits with the article. Is Twitter futureproofing its status as disruptive innovator, by shifting the IP ownership? 

  • Pingback: HRExaminer v.3.17 | HR Examiner with John Sumser()

  • Are those supposed to be flashy boobs?

  • I have always loved the term “disruptive innovation” – I think we stand at the edge of it all the time…, the opportunity to witness what occurs in our own industry and the verticals it encompasses not only keeps us on our toes, but for me, also at the ready to try anything – once.  

    Thanks for always sharing insight in such a manner that makes us think.

    And in the thinking, drives curiosity. 

    A few years ago, I read Everett Roger’s Diffusion of Innovation and decided I would always work in tech – in one way or another. 

    Following what you write here is further glue to my choice…

  • Andrew Braae

    I came here to make a comment but reading yours has driven it completely from my mind.

  • Saji

    Good post…!!
    job interview questions

Page 1 of 11
Read previous post:
Where’s The Attraction?

Advertising is much more about attraction, through increasing brand awareness. Advertising takes time and focus. It operates on different rhythms...