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Why employers should embrace disruption

The word disruption doesn’t typically fill you with joy when you hear it. Usually, disruption means a disturbance that interferes and causes issues. In business, however, disruption is can be the change needed to create new ideas and spark innovation. Take two of the biggest disruptors in recent years, Airbnb and Netflix. Both companies used a gap in the market to shake up the status quo and create business plans that have changed the global hotel market and how people watch television. Rather than being wary of disruption, the key is learning how to harness it’s potential.

Professional service experts PwC believe there are 5 key factors businesses should consider in disruptive innovation “changes in customer behaviour; new kinds of competition; shifting regulation; new methods of distribution; and core technologies of production. Together, these factors have the potential to significantly change the nature of an industry - and the power and profits of players within it”. Embracing the disruption rather than pushing back against it may have unexpected results but to do so you need to recognise the change coming from within your own industry.

How to identify a disrupter

Disruption doesn’t happen overnight, but employing a workforce that are proactive and responsive in their approach is a good start. Keen graduates with a grip on new technologies are one way to find your disrupters. Uber is often used as an example of disruption, but what they did was challenge a market that already existed. A more suitable example is Netflix. When Netflix first formed, Blockbuster was king and they didn’t view Netflix as a serious competitor as they believed that customers wouldn’t want to wait for a DVD to be posted to them. What Blockbuster didn’t anticipate was the direction that video streaming was going. Netflix is now worth billions of dollars and producing it’s own unique content, and Blockbuster has gone bankrupt. For many companies, the importance lies in knowing when to challenge how something has always been done and having employees that can notice these changes.

The future of disruption

Modern technology is moving at an astounding rate which creates opportunities for companies to become leaders in their industries. The growth of 3D printing and cryptocurrencies such as PayPal and Bitcoin has created opportunities for worldwide change. Online experts Business Leader site the next step in disruption as space travel. Whether this comes from Richard Branson’s asteroid mining or Elon Musk’s Mars trip is anyone’s guess but the possibilities are certainly exciting. They say that children are our future, and in business terms, that phrase could be represented by graduates. Digital natives with fresh ideas and their careers ahead of them with the ability to create real change.

When recruiting new graduate roles, register at GradLink for access to our database of the UK’s top education international students and graduates and free access to our global jobs page.

By Jen Garmston Published: November 12, 2019

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