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Disruptive change – keep up, or fall behind

The “little c” and the BIG C

There are two types of change … two types of challenges.  The first are everyday challenges faced when running a business – “little c’” challenges. Then there are the challenges associated with being in an industry that is undergoing disruption, discontinuity and upheaval – and that’s “Big C” – disruptive change.

In our modern age, progress is made at an alarming pace with new technology and new possibilities opening up every day. That progress in turn delivers change and change can be a wondrous thing. It can also be aggressive, ruthless and unforgiving.

Traditional tried and tested business models get thrown to the winds on a regular basis in our modern era where giant corporate behemoths can quickly succumb to nimble start ups with lower overheads and greater profit margins.

HMV marks the latest casualty of the high street hit by the devastating impact of the internet on bricks and mortar. For many years the mega-chain has been losing market share to online retailers, unable to compete with the lower prices and wider stock selection of the likes of Amazon.

It follows the fall of high street camera chain Jessops, electrical retailer Comet, DVD rental Blockbuster and bookstore Borders.

Disruptive change is inevitable

Struggling against online retailers

The reasons for these giants toppling are listed by commentators as a little bit of mismanagement and an awful lot of struggling against online retailers.

Whilst the high street plugs away at an increasingly outmoded business model, online retailers are free to experiment with other aspects of the retail experience, with the introduction of customer provided product reviews, algorithms that can recommend related items to customers, discounts only possible due to the minimal overheads they have and pure digital-only products.

Technology will not stop and is unlikely to slow down, and with every advance comes a change in consumer behaviour.

High street stores still get people through their doors for the express purposes of look at the physical products before they buy, but how long will it be before this stream of customers dries up too? How long will it be before we start getting semi-tangible holographic examples of products projected into our homes?

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Disruptive change – keep up, or fall behind — http://www.torbenrick.eu/t/r/qmp

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About the author
Torben Rick

Experienced senior executive, both at a strategic and operational level, with strong track record in developing, driving and managing business improvement and development and change management. International experience from management positions in Denmark, Germany and Switzerland

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About the author
Torben Rick

Experienced senior executive, both at a strategic and operational level, with strong track record in developing, driving and managing business improvement and development and change management. International experience from management positions in Denmark, Germany and Switzerland

View full profile

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