I often consult for Fortune 500 companies, who are looking for ways to innovate (quickly).
Perhaps they’ve heard the stat that 40 percent of today’s Fortune 500 companies will no longer exist in 10 years.
Earlier this week I met with one such (large) company for a 90 min consultation.
In this blog, I thought I’d share the top-line summary of the advice I gave them…
In my mind, here are three counter-intuitive approaches that companies, small and large, need to take to disrupt themselves and surf above the tsunami of change, rather than get crushed by it.
1. Your biggest problems are your biggest opportunities
I often teach entrepreneurs that the world’s biggest problems are also the world’s biggest business opportunities. This also holds true for your company.
Take stock of your challenges.
My advice: Hire a team of ‘20-something year-old’ entrepreneurs and have them spend a week interviewing your customers, suppliers, employees, and managers.
Have them ask the questions: What are your biggest problems? What breakthrough would 10x our revenue? What problems, if solved, would completely revolutionize our business, product, organization, etc.?
Then, take a list of these problems and use them as targeting data for the creation of new business opportunities. Fund numerous teams of young entrepreneurs to take their shot at solving those problems.
Worst case you learn some valuable data. Best case you solve your problems, improve your business and create a whole set of new startups useful to everyone else in your industry (who likely have the same problems).
2. You need to be creating “unholy alliances”
Most companies feel most comfortable working with the traditional companies and suppliers in their industry.
Pharmaceutical companies work with other biomedical companies. Software companies partner with electronics companies. Aerospace companies work with aerospace companies. Etc.
My Advice: Create “unholy alliances." Find and partner with companies completely outside your field, non-traditional players who force you to think orthogonally to your existing strategy and value chain.
Here are a few of my favorite "unholy alliances”.
For more examples, Co-Society did a great report on unique business collaborations here.
3. 10x your thinking – You need to be taking moonshots
Most companies are really focused on how to create 10% improvements in their businesses – They ask: How do we reduce costs 10%? Increase profits 10%?
Astro Teller, Google’s “Captain of Moonshots”, often talks about how when you try to do 10% better, you are putting yourself in a smartness competition with everyone else in your industry (and everyone else in the world) and it’s a competition you’re unlikely to win.
Instead, Astro proposes what Google call’s “Moonshot Thinking” where you try to go 10x bigger (10x cheaper, 10x faster, 10x cooler) etc.
Why try for 10x versus 10%?
Whatever the size of the company you run, I hope these three ideas will help you create a sense of urgency around innovation and add new capabilities to spur innovation.
In the world today, the only constant is change and the rate of change is increasing.
You either disrupt yourself, or someone else will.
This is the sort of conversation we discuss at my 250-person executive mastermind group called Abundance 360. The program is highly selective and has ~95% of the spots filled. You can apply here.
Share this email with your friends, especially if they are interested in any of the areas outlined above.
P.S. Every weekend I send out a “Tech Blog” like this one. If you want to sign up, go to PeterDiamandis.com and sign up for this and my Abundance blogs.
P.P.S. Please forward this to your best clients, colleagues and friends — especially those who could use some encouragement as they pursue big, bold dreams.