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Don't Make the Same Mistake Leaders at Kodak, Blockbuster and Xerox Made When Disruption Comes to Your Industry CEOs must understand where their industry is now and imagine where it will be in the future to respond to disruption confidently.

By Professor M.S. Rao, Ph.D

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Once iconic companies, including Nokia, Kodak, Blockbuster and Xerox, disappeared from the market because they failed to survive in the age of disruption. Once they were considered role model operations globally, but technological disruption wiped them out. One lesson learned is that CEOs must not take any organizational achievements for granted. Instead, they should prepare themselves to capitalize on disruption effectively.

Disruption is not a new phenomenon

In the current global business environment, all sectors are disrupted — industries, organizations and individuals. Nothing is immune from it. Digital cameras disrupted analog cameras, quartz watches did the same to mechanical watches, and the iPhone displaced Blackberrys. We can see these market upheavals from the use of desktops to laptops to smartphones. The first Industrial Revolution disrupted traditional methods of living and earning via steam power and mechanized production. The second disrupted the first by changing lifestyles through electric power and international mass production. The third disrupted the second by automating such production. Currently, the fourth such revolution, the digital, is throwing at-once fresh challenges and opportunities to humankind, and is evolving at an exponential rather than linear pace.

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