Evolution or revolution: why are you still pushing for incremental change?

Why disrupting your organisation may be the answer to value creation


Incremental evolution of existing offerings is a core part of business development strategy, but shouldn't be your sole growth tactic.


Disrupting yourself may be the answer to massive value creation.


Disruption isn't a stable pathway - it requires real bravery to face down the short-term incentives to stay the course.

What made us think

The venture capital industry makes ambitious investments under the assumption that most of them are going to fail. They don't worry about things not working out, and instead focus on the small percentage of their investments that have the potential to instigate revolutionary change and generate massive shareholder value.

Our point of view

If immense value creation is what you seek, then embracing revolution rather than worrying about whether initiatives are aligned with "the way we do things" might be the best strategy.

Why it matters

How it applies in the real world

Perhaps the best way to illustrate the importance of abandoning incremental evolution is to look at how badly it turns out when companies ignore the opportunity to lead revolutions. A famous example would be when Blockbuster passed on the chance to radically alter their business model when they turned down the opportunity to buy Netflix for $50 million in 2000. Now Netflix is worth over $40 billion and Blockbuster is a corpse. Hilton, worth $22 billion over nearly 100 years is still focusing on real estate management and leases. Meanwhile, 8-year-old AirBnB was recently valued at $24 billion, realising that the industry's future was not in managing properties, but providing a platform for anyone to do so using their own homes.

Want to know more?
Speak with your
subject matter expert:
Raj Mendes

CEC Team

December 2018

Service Design & Research

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