9 November 2015

  |  CBI Updates Team

Intelligence, Top tips, Update

6 ways your business can harness disruptive innovation

The 2015 CBI conference hosted a lively session exploring the impact of disruptive innovation on businesses. From fast-growing disruptors such as Uber, to established brands like Royal Mail the session was focused on understanding how businesses can take advantage of an increasingly disruptive environment. 

6 ways your business can harness disruptive innovation

The message was clear – the business landscape is changing and companies of all sizes need to be prepared to adopt and adapt. Disruption and innovation do not just belong to new businesses, rather they are key ingredients to running a sustainable and ambitious company.

Here are 6 key takeaways from the session:

1. Age is not a barrier to disruption

Fundamentally, disruption and innovation are principles and long term goals that can guide a company. Amazon started off as a book seller and went on to revolutionise online marketplaces. Royal Mail has consistently innovated in its 500 year existence. Age is not obstacle to innovation, but rather the attitude towards driving the business forward.

2. Trust, transparency and accountability are key to growing innovative businesses

Disrupting existing industries requires consumer buy-in. While an accessible website and app will be key to initial success, Airbnb and Uber stressed the importance of consumers trusting the service they are buying for sustainable growth.

3. Be a consumer champion

A relentless focus on the customer is integral to stimulating innovation in new and established businesses. From the rapid growth of smartphone usage to using digital platforms – consumers’ tastes change and businesses need to keep pace.

4. Senior leadership must have an innovation positive attitude

New businesses have the nimbleness, established companies often have the resources – both have the capacity to be big innovators. However, as Whitbread highlighted, without the right attitude and mindset in the leadership of the company the business will not take advantage of its innovative resources.

5. Invest in new technology

Moving with the times means prudent investment in the key growth drivers of your business. Whether that is developing your website so it can take payments or ensuring your customers have the simplest online journeys.

6. Plan your scale-up journey

Successful innovation is strongly linked to rapid growth. New and established businesses can both scale-up, but ensuring the business has the right expertise and organisational structure to manage this process is crucial to keeping the company on the right path.


Below is the full session: