The closing panel discussed Charlene’s upcoming book, “The Disruption Mindset: Why Some Organizations Transform While Others Fail” and the crucial role that communities play in a disruption strategy. Attendees learned how the most disruptive organizations use communities to fuel thinking and action and drive Movements through enlightened leadership as well as the three beliefs of disruptive organizations.
For the past two decades, Charlene Li has been helping people see the future. She’s the author of five books, including the New York Times bestseller, Open Leadership and is the co-author of the critically acclaimed book, Groundswell. She founded Altimeter Group, an analyst firm that was acquired in 2015 by Prophet. Named by Fast Company as one of the most creative people in business, Charlene is an expert on digital transformation and disruptive growth strategies. And she’s now building her own Movement with Quantum Networks. She founded Altimeter Group, an analyst firm that was acquired in 2015 by Prophet. Charlene is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Business School.
David Hersh is an entrepreneur and investor based in San Francisco. He was the Founding CEO of Jive Software, which he grew to a $60M, pre-IPO company before becoming Chairman. David spent two years as a Board Partner at Andreessen Horowitz. Most recently, he acquired and now runs Mobilize, a member engagement platform. Prior to Jive, he was a management consultant.
Why is disruption so important now:
Well, it’s because there are more ways we create it. It would be good if we could improve it. We have new technologies and we have more opportunities to find disruption. “Big organizations can’t change” is no longer a fact. WE have a chance now to make that change happen.
What are slow moving companies doing wrong?
- They keep looking for a magic bullet.
- The quickest moving ones recognized needs and then found a very simple answer at the heart of it.
- If you can’t focus on a future opportunity you can’t make the decisions now.
What is so important about a “future customer”
Well to be specific it’s very rare and very hard for a future customer to be known. People are scared of that. When you are trying to be disruptive this is a vital prerequisite
Make a company a customer sensing machine – not a hurdle to it. Once you find it you need to activate it.
One of the most compelling examples was adobe. Can you share it?
The creative suite product needed to go in to the cloud. The creative suite no longer exists because it was too expensive. They knew that the switch was going to be a very difficult two year process of severe reduction and declining income. They had to say that the income was going to tank for two years and it was going to be good for the business. That’s hard. To get that achieved they had to tell a powerful story of a future customer.
You can’t be customer centric if you don’t have a single customer centric model. In large companies that are not prepared for interruption, there are issues with no one understanding the purpose and the point of the current customer – let alone a future customer. You have to have an understanding of what you’re doing now first.
How does innovation live in companies that do it well?
Innovation is the core of what a new company does. It’s also the most important parts for small companies, but there’s also a notion of innovation fewar. You see something awesome and disruptive but to do something like that is hard. It challenges your assumptions. I really worry about the innovation centers in an organization because they are siloed in a specific section of the company. As a result some people just simply don’t worry about innovation because that part is doing it.
Disruption is painful. It’s that simple. It’s hard because it tips the balance of power in a situation.
What are the elements of building a culture robust enough to handle disruption?
- Comes down to two things – beliefs and the behaviours that form and inform those beliefs. You want cultures that need to be faster moving.
- Openness – transparency allows the speed of people to do things
- Agency – people feel a responsibility to take it
- Bias toward action – you will take action even in the midst of not knowing or not understanding. You will do what you need to do even when you’re not 100% sure.
What are the attributes of people you know are going to make change happen?
- The ability to inspire people and make that change themselves.
- The more exponential change that you make, the more you need a network of people willing to take on a mantle of leadership
- The platform of the future will be built almost entirely by community managers.
- The state of social media marketing is going to be what where community managers are.
- Where else in marketing do you think is the greatest you can be? Communities are the most strategically important parts of an organization.