Seek and champion change even when the status quo is still working: that's one of the driving messages from IBM's "19th Global C-suite Study, Incumbents Strike Back"
The report shows that despite predictions that disruptors would take over the world, it is incumbents who are now leading the way. These supposedly lumbering giants have found surprisingly agile ways to navigate the new landscape and turn disruption to their advantage.
The comprehensive study developed by the IBM Institute for Business Value (IBV), draws from frank, in-depth interviews with 12,875 C-suite executives, from six C-suite roles across 112 countries and was released in full at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona by Jesus Mantas and Saul Berman, both executives and long-time business consultants from IBM Services.
The IBV is IBM Services' internal think tank organization and is regarded as the world's top thought leadership source, according to Source Global Research, and this report builds on the culmination of 15 years of knowledge and research.
The study shows 72 percent of surveyed chief experience officers (CXOs) claimed that incumbent organizations — rather than new entrants — are leading the disruption in their industry. By comparison, only 22 percent say smaller companies and start-ups are leading disruptive change.
So, how did industry incumbents stage this remarkable come back? Re-allocation of capital was key.
"It's essential for leaders transforming their organizations to go beyond acquiring new skills: they need to create a continued learning culture in their organizations" says Mantas, managing partner, Cognitive Assets and GBS Ventures. By identifying smart new start-ups and being able to quickly invest in or acquire them, incumbents were able to own the disruption, and the platforms and data that came with them.