4 Ways to Leverage Disruption and Accelerate Success

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Technology is changing every aspect of your business. Sometimes the change is so rapid that simply “keeping up” isn’t enough to ensure success. The ability to navigate digital transformation has become a make-or-break situation for many organizations. Adopting an anticipatory mindset can be a critical turning point for your company to go from being disrupted to having a competitive advantage. Your response to change can turn challenges into opportunities.

A missing competency today among some business leaders seems to be the ability to anticipate change.


Digital transformation, disruption and success were covered during the Applied Software January, 2021 Digital Agility Summit. You can watch the entire 2:00 pm session presented by Stambaugh Ness, “Leveraging Disruption to Accelerate Success,” on demand.


There are ways to leverage the disruption happening today and develop a new mindset that will help you accelerate your company’s success.

1. Use anticipatory thinking  

By applying tools and skills, the forward-looking organization:

  • Anticipates rather than reacts.
  • Is focused on the future rather than relying on legacy thinking.
  • Transforms and extends rather than protecting and defending.
  • When you anticipate future changes, you can get a clearer picture of what’s coming and prepare for it.

2. Embrace disruption

Though it’s sometimes easier said than done, it’s important to set aside time to focus on the future. This will enable you to develop a future view, because, as Daniel Burrus put it, “How you view the future shapes your actions today, and your actions today will shape your future.”

Navigating transformational change requires different skill sets than going through incremental change. When you’re a positive disruptor, you can look at processes, services and products with a fresh perspective.

3. Foster a “digital transformation” culture

Make a commitment to harnessing and leveraging change. Focus on what is certain as opposed to things that are uncertain. Create opportunities that will enable success.

Prepare your firm for the future by learning about the hard and soft trends.

A hard trend will happen based on measurable, tangible and fully predictable facts, events, or objects. Hard trends include:

  • Demographics – Workforce transformation: retiring baby boomers, shifts in features of the workforce.
  • Regulation – Security transformation: cybersecurity laws, environmental, taxation.
  • Technology – Digital transformation: exponential change in data analytics, adaptive and predictive cybersecurity systems, virtualization, cloud computing, artificial intelligence.

A soft trend may or may not happen based on an assumption about the future that looks valid in the present. For instance:

  • Housing prices will go up.
  • There will be an increased shortage of medical professionals and skilled trades workers.
  • Facebook will continue to be a leading social networking site.

When it comes to disruption, the bottom line is that you can either be disrupted from the “outside in” (being reactive), or you can become a disruptor from the “inside out” (being proactive and agile).

To leverage disruption and accelerate success in your organization, look forward, not backward. Align your business decisions with hard trends and operate against the certainty of those hard trends. In addition, be looking for opportunities to be a disruptor as you improve operational efficiencies as well as your customers’ experience.


To explore leveraging disruption to build on your successes, reach out to the experts of the Applied Software Digital Transformation Team and investigate your options.