2018 Your Year To Innovate and Disrupt: 8 Strategies to Help


In the cognitive, predictive world and new ecosystems are attacking every industry as non-aligned partnerships come together to deliver innovative services and products to their customers. What can your organization do to be “The Disruptor” And not the disrupted!?

Below is a 90-day plan that can help take you from a concept of new innovation or disruptive offerings to new customers or revenue sources.

  1. Assign a leader of your innovation efforts. If you do not have a VP or Chief Innovation or Strategy Officer now is a good time to appoint one. 2018 shall wait for no one to keep up…Take 2 Paths Simultaneously:
    • Appoint a C-­suite sponsor to oversee a team that is responsible for championing your new ecosystem and digital partnership strategies.
    • Appoint teams within the organization to explore different paths/opportunities that disrupt your business.
  1. Conduct and assess: people, customers, competition, internal data assets:
  2. Do a full inventory of the ecosystems related to your business.
    • Inventory every possible data asset within the organization leave no data set undiscovered. As Data is Oil in the cognitive frontier.
      • This effort is also preparation for data monetize. I’ll share strategies for this in a follow-on post.
    • Leverage outside industry experts to help you assess competition and to build new strategies; views from the outside world.
    • Conduct a full team assessment. Your people must be readied for now. The best sources for preparing your talent are leveraging companies like The Center for Creative Leadership.

“It’s tough when markets change and your people within the company don’t.”


  1. Gather internal inputs and assess internal skill sets readiness for the new frontier.
    • Ask your team for innovative ideas for how to use emerging digital ecosystems.
    • Build engaging conversations internally to help staff members learn. Continually assess their levels of competency around technology and data analytics savvy and soft skills (soft skills have been identified as a predominant need for growth companies today and in the future). If you are not sure of the skills needed to live in from 2018 to 2025 seek help from outside firms.
    • Envision your competitive position, new value chains, and new use cases for innovations/disruptions where you plan to compete.
    • Craft the strategies and assign to the most capable commercialization talent inside your company.
      • Partner with outside firms to accelerate this process and product/service
      • Be thorough but don’t wait for perfect!
  1. Build the partnerships that will support the new growth strategies.
  2. Identify the key players in cognitive worlds (VR/AR, Voice, Video Analytics, Algorithm development)…… choose your preferred alliances.

“We cannot solve a problem by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” A. Einstein

  1. Draft partnership/alliance agreements that protect your data. THE MOST OVERLOOKED YET MOST CRITICAL part of any agreement.
  2. Pilot initial concept(s) with your company’s “FRIENDLIES” (the customers that will tell it like it is always to help you improve).
  3. Create metrics to determine success with your new disruptive or innovative solutions.
  4. Know when to invest more or when to pivot!
    • Measure and report frequently to team members to gain insights, reassess and relaunch as you make modifications.

9. BONUS: Celebrate – just getting to this point is a great success!!





More to explore