When COVID-19 hit, businesses had to respond almost instantaneously–shifting employees to remote work, repairing broken supply chains, keeping pace with dramatically fluctuating customer demand. They were forced to adapt to a confluence of multiple disruptions inextricably linked to a longer-term, ongoing digital disruption. This book shows that companies that use disruption as an opportunity for innovation emerge from it stronger. Companies that merely attempt to “weather the storm” until things go back to normal (or the next normal), on the other hand, miss an opportunity to thrive.
The authors, all experts on business and technology strategy, show that transformation is not a one-and-done event, but a continuous process of adapting to a volatile and uncertain environment. Drawing on five years of research into digital disruption–including a series of interviews with business leaders conducted during the COVID-19 crisis–they offer a framework for understanding disruption and tools for navigating it. They outline the leadership traits, business principles, technological infrastructure, and organizational building blocks essential for adapting to disruption, with examples from real-world organizations. Technology, they remind readers, is not an end in itself, but enables the capabilities essential for surviving an uncertain future: nimbleness, scalability, stability, and optionality.