Tuesday, June 7, 2016

The Incumbents Dilemma

The impact of what Chris Anderson famously coined 'The Long Tail' is across virtually every industry and the disruptive aspects of the technology ultimately evidence themselves in what Clayton Christensen describes as the 'Innovator's Dilemma'; which is also referred to as the ‘incumbents dilemma'.

The theory means that only very rarely can an incumbent firm embrace and leverage disruptive solutions. This is largely because in non-technology driven businesses, there is only so much space available. In contrast, where there is effectively unlimited space, as on the internet, there are potentially high quality goods at every juncture of the long tail.

Furthermore, given that quality is entirely subjective, what is often defined by an incumbent firm as ‘low quality’ will be seen by others in the marketplace as in fact at least 'good enough' – if not actually high quality.

Critically, the barriers to entry, in terms of getting a solution to market and then allowing the market to determine whether there is any value, are constantly decreasing.

Similarly, industries such as photography, media, transport and book publishing have been radically re-engineered because of the ability to self publish electronic versions in the marketplace.

Many believe the professions are at the cusp of being similarly radically re-engineered.

Ultimately, the reason that incubation is such a powerful driver for wealth creation is that, from a customer's perspective, new ideas that actually work are far more valuable than the making (or manufacturing) of the idea.

As mentioned previously, we began the journey to address many of the challenges of redefining the professional services firm business model over 10 years ago.

For many, the journey has started more recently and we believe it important to share our learnings.

In this regard, we are excited to be presenting at the 2016 ALPMA Summit, A Blue Print for Change, 7-9 September in Melbourne – see http://www.alpma.com.au/Summit

Before then, our upcoming Roadshow will also be a full day example of our contribution in this space.

Download the brochure.

Watch the promo video below.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock