Many customers value stability and consistency, so you should not be disruptive for its own sake, argues Andy Wilson, Head of Wholesale, CityFibre.
The term ‘disruptive’ can be applied to simply questioning the norm or being radically innovative in your approach. Either way, it‘s essential to constantly challenge current practices and assumptions, to be flexible and adaptable, and to embrace new business practices, working environments and emerging technologies. “But being disruptive does not mean that you always have to be radical,” stated Wilson.
For resellers seeking to be disruptive and take a leadership position, their business model and culture will need to change. “You also need stability and consistency,” added Wilson. “It is also key to get the balance right between data collection, analysis and accuracy, and the delegation of responsibility within the business. The better the information and interpretation, the more accurate your decisions will be.”
Resellers are also advised to be disciplined and make time to think because thinking is vitally important to decision making. “Block out physical time for tactical and strategic thought, otherwise you will always be consumed by the here and now and won’t have the opportunity to plan and strive towards future goals,” noted Wilson. “To be truly disruptive, you also need to be agile and able to make decisions and act on them immediately, at every level.
“It’s also necessary to have a culture which allows people to make mistakes. Whether they are senior or middle managers, or junior employees, people should never be scared to try something, and they should never be punished for making a mistake. You should include everyone in the business in your disruption strategy and have a feedback loop that will allow their voices to be heard.”
For many channel businesses today, the biggest threat will be new, more dynamic and disruptive entrants, believes Wilson. “These new businesses will be quick thinking, agile and responsive,” he said. “They have no legacy constraints and are able to react and adapt to changes in the market quickly. Established businesses need to think how they can respond to that challenge and turn it into an opportunity. While customers value stability and dependability, resellers will nevertheless need to match the new entrants in terms of their innovation and their capacity to embrace new ideas and technologies.”