Executive Rewind: The Disruption of Change

Disruption: 1.  To throw into confusion or disorder; 2.  To interrupt or impede the progress of; 3.  To break apart or alter so as to prevent normal or expected functioning.

In full or part, each of the above definitions applies to today’s version of “disruption.” In this age of technology, businesses and industries are facing disruption on a daily basis.

Business leaders affected by ongoing disruption—and there are many—need to be prepared to both confront it, and to tell their stakeholders how they are adapting.

Netflix, Amazon Video, Hulu, HBO Go, the premium movie channels, video on demand, etc., etc., all have invaded the space where your local movie theater had exclusivity for decades. And now, noted “serial disrupter” Sean Parker (he of Napster and Facebook) is putting together an investment group to bring first-run movies right into your living room…for $50 each!

So, how does that neighborhood theater react? At AMC Entertainment, they’re spending millions to renovate their theaters, top to bottom, including bigger screens and more iMax screens. But, CEO Adam Aron knows it’s going to take more than that:

Also, the availability and/or cost of resources cause disruption. For instance, the utility industry has had to find better cost efficiencies to meet demand. Southern Company’s Tom Fanning explains to his key business audiences the reason for expanding Southern’s nuclear generation, and their shift to natural gas, as a “bridge”:

Then there’s the simple fact of disruption in market demand for things like staple products, and the response often forces executives to spin off, or repurpose, their basic business. Like Whole Foods and their new “365” stores:

The speed of change due to disruption is forcing businesses to react swiftly, and intelligently, in order to survive. Part of the survival formula includes keeping audiences informed through all the various media available today, both traditional and digital. So, while your company’s operations executives are making those adjustments, your PR folks need to be working hand-in-hand with them, developing messages for quick dissemination to the audiences that can help you meet your business goals.