Is Creative Disruption Threatening Your Security?

Transition ThoughtsPicture this…

Your industry is gets hit by a disruptor – one of those new, unexpected competitors. It dawns on you that the secure future you’ve planned and worked diligently to build is now in jeopardy. It’s difficult to imagine where you will be work wise in three years time.

It’s one thing to adapt to change quite another matter to adjust to cataclysmic disruption.

Disruptors are portrayed as either brilliant or bad guys. Regularly the media blast stories about industries where competitors have entered with new business and engagement models. They graphically remind us where an industry, such as publishing, was then and where it is now. Many articles are one sided focusing on the negative or positive side of one aspect.

With every disruption, there is an upside and a downside. You have to look from many angles to see where it fits on a spectrum of brilliant to bad for you, your role and your organization and industry.

Change is constant, and the future is already here. You may be familiar with Elizabeth Holmes – the woman who has invented a way to run 30 lab tests on only one drop of blood. It’s a fascinating story that affects millions of people positively and negatively.

Holmes set out at the age of 19 to change the health care system. Today some of those steps have already been implemented. Theranos, a privately owned biotech company, operated in stealth mode for ten years to maintain confidentiality.

What impact will this disruption have on you?

  • It’s a heartwarming story if you have a family member who is very ill, because drawing blood will be less painful. This is terrific news for children, the elderly or oncology patients.
  • If you need a diagnosis, it means your doctor can have results in four hours, or you will have better access to personal data in order to monitor your efforts to take care of health issues.
  • It’s a chilling story, if you’re a medical lab or insurance firm, as it will negatively impact revenues and your supply chain partners.
  • If you’re a medical laboratory technician, it threatens your livelihood, and it’s ‘close to the bone’.
  • It’s about adapting if you are a healthcare worker or doctor, the change in processes will require doing things differently, and, however, most healthcare institutions are in long-term change management mode already.
  • It’s a good news story if you’re a taxpayer, instead of it costing more because it’s new and advanced, you can expect savings in the billions of dollars. Prices, for over a thousand tests, are posted on their website at rates lower than insurance companies currently charge. It’s a good news story too if you self-pay for health coverage.

Where there’s change, you will discover transition

Change and transition are constant companions. Change is the event: the new technology moving into the market and its impact. Transition is the emotional side: the affects to your personal and professional life. It’s the chaotic neutral zone full of endings, beginnings and new opportunities in odd disguises.

Here’s my take on change and transition – change is like a roadway while transition is like a river.

The change plan is similar to driving on a clearly marked highway with lines and signs. You can get traction on the solid road beneath your tires. You have maps and checkpoints to estimate time requirements. Your destination is clearly defined.

Transitions are more like traveling on a fast flowing river. It’s fluid with an array of mysterious conditions. There are fewer markings, varying currents, inclement weather, and the risk of capsizing. You have less control and more variables.

Driving and navigating are two very different skill sets. Many don’t distinguish between the two. Visualize a roadway that turns into a river…now what? Most change management efforts that falter or fail do so because the transitions were ignored or not taken seriously.

How could you take your transition skills to higher levels?

Reading:  Don’t let those click-bait headlines and short content articles ruin your day. Do some serious research to sort through what’s real and what is imagined.

 Solicit other’s experiences:  Less about advice and more about considering alternate ways of coping.

Reflect on past events:  Look for the behavior patterns you tend to apply when handling adverse situations. Often hindsight will change your perspective and provide insights you had missed.

Creative disruption is both exciting and risky. For some, it brings improvement. For others, it signals a time of uncertainty and insecurity. The game changer, in this case, is discovering how transition affects you and learning ways to discern the difference between real danger and risk.

When change is not a choice, what’s your approach for handling mixed emotions? Ex:  lost your role, company acquired, assigned to a different location 

What part did insecurity play in this for you? 

What were game changers for you? 



 Photo:  DepositPhotos


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