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Five Ways Companies Can Disrupt Themselves to Stay Relevant

Maintain a competitive edge by practicing self-initiated disruption

Recently, I watched a series of fintech startup investor presentations. These early-stage companies sought VC funding to take their ideas to the next level of commerce. By the fifth presentation, I heard the term “disruption” so many times, it sounded like an obligatory disclaimer: “Our goal is to disrupt the [fill-in-the-blank] industry.” One could interpret the term as though it is a strategy in-and-of-itself; it is not. 

Disruption happens. It’s a natural force as industries evolve. Fifth century BC Greek philosopher, Heraclitus, said “change is the only constant in life.” Twenty-five hundred years later, innovators capitalize on change to address evolving customer needs, interests and preferences, and at the same time, many businesses let change take them by surprise. 

Knowing the dynamic nature of business, and the continuous redefinition of “normal,” leaders have a decision to make — initiate change and innovation, or react to external pressures. The most effective leaders proactively look for any opportunity to preemptively refine processes, increase efficiency and improve products and services to their customers.

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