Rotman Management

Harnessing the Power of Disruption

IN THE FACE OF INDUSTRY DISRUPTION, business leaders often present themselves with a false choice: Should they cling to the stability of their legacy business and risk missing new opportunities? Or should they abandon the legacy model in a proactive dash for the new? Finding the right balance between these two extremes has become one of the central leadership challenges of our time.

The companies that thrive amidst disruption are able to shift with speed and confidence into new markets and activities — constantly re-inventing themselves in an effort to make their business relevant to the future. However, in a recent Accenture survey of 1,440 C-level executives, we found that only six per cent of companies have embraced this challenge decisively. For the other 94 per cent, common factors that prevent progress include capital-intensive infrastructures, contractual agreements, outdated technology and relentless devotion to legacy products, services and brands.

Our survey, which

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