HomeBlog Disruptions Are Like Thunderstorms: They Produce the Brightest Rainbows

Disruptions Are Like Thunderstorms: They Produce the Brightest Rainbows

May 11, 2016 | By Monica Behncke

  • At SiriusDecisions Summit 2016, we will introduce the SiriusDecisions Disruption Radar ™
  • Companies need a simple, yet highly effective way to analyze and capitalize on major disruptive trends
  • Disruptions are generally do not occur instantaneously but in recognizable stages – and they can be anticipated

When I was very little, I loved thunderstorms, because my mother would have the family gather on the front porch to watch the lightning show and then look for the rainbow after the storm. Sometimes we would get hot cocoa and cookies for the show. I realize now that this was her way of marketing thunderstorms as something interesting and fun so that we wouldn’t be afraid of them.

While disruptions in the business world may not be so much fun that they warrant cocoa and cookies, the metaphor of standing out on the porch and watching for lightning, counting the seconds until the thunder and looking for the rainbow is very appropriate. Disruptions in business are happening at an increasing rate, often accelerated due to efficient communications through the Internet, but some businesses continue to hide under the bed, afraid to recognize them.

At the upcoming SirusDecisions Summit, on May 24-27 in Nashville, we will introduce the SiriusDecisions Disruption Radar™ – a tool that will help companies recognize the characteristics of a major disruption, understand the stages of disruption and know what to do at each stage.

Very few disruptions have the instantaneous impact that Google achieved when it added GPS maps as a smartphone application. While this development was devastating for standalone GPS vendors, it opened up new opportunities for other companies to use this new functionality. For example, sales contact applications came out with mobile territory management apps that could show sales reps which prospects are in the immediate vicinity and provide directions with one touch.

More frequently, major b-to-b disruptions advance at a pace that allows ample time to take advantage of the opportunity. Social media is a good example. It’s easy to recognize that social media has positively impacted the fundamental processes of sales, marketing and product in b-to-b companies. Sales has unprecedented insight into who prospects are, marketing has an entirely new channel to reach them, and product managers have a new source of reviews that can quickly identify problems or provide insights to new product requirements. But social media didn’t storm onto the b-to-b landscape in an instant. There was a very long adoption period, first by consumers and later by businesses that recognized the opportunity. It’s also important to note that, for most companies, social media adoption was not a corporate strategy determined in a corner office. A bright young marketing or sales professional saw the opportunity and pursued it one step at a time. Today, social media is an expected part of the fabric of b-to-b operations.

The SiriusDecisions Disruption Radar™ offers a simple, yet highly effective way for any b-to-b organization to analyze, act (or not act) upon and capitalize on major disruptive trends that will inevitably impact its business. Businesses that dominate the competition will not be hiding under the covers when the storm starts; they will be out on the porch anticipating the rainbow. 

The SiriusDecisions Disruption Radar™ will be introduced on Friday May 27 at the SirusDecisions Summit.

Monica Behncke

Monica Behncke is Vice President and Group Director of Demand Creation Strategies at SiriusDecisions. She has more than 20 years’ experience in global positions across marketing disciplines ranging from product marketing to field marketing. Follow Monica on Twitter @mbbaustin

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