Building innovative companies using the powerful disruptive force of the Connected Generation (Part 1)
Competitive dynamics are shifting and the rules for success and failure are being rewritten across almost every industry and every business function. Exciting new innovative business models are emerging every day and you don’t have to be a fresh upstart to be a leading innovator. A recent study by Fast Company on the most innovative companies for 2013 shows that established companies Nike, Amazon, Safaricom and Target (the latter was founded over 110 years ago!), make up part of the Top 10 most innovative companies. However, the study also reveals that being legacy free helps as six relative newbies: Square; Splunk, Fab, Uber, Sproxil and Pinterest; capture the other top ten places and in doing so lay claim to the accolades that go with being a leading and successfully disruptive company.
These top ten innovative companies have two things in common; an overwhelming desire to disrupt their competitors by re-imagining the ways things are done and, they are also guided and driven by leaders who come from what we at TomorrowToday call the Connection Generation.
The Connection Generation is a cohort of innovation vanguards and change agents. As a rule of thumb, they were born sometime from the mid to late 1980’s until the early 2000′s and subsequently lived their adolescent years after 1995 growing up just as personal computers started to become ubiquitous in everyday life. This generation has been connected, communicating, content-centric, computerised, community-oriented, and continually clicking since they can remember. However, being a member of the Connection Generation is attitudinal factor rather than entirely age related, as we shall see later.
Astute companies are recognising the importance of creating a workplace that attracts and inspires talented members of the Connection Generation. By 2020, across the United States, Europe and the BRIC countries, this generation will make up 40 percent of the population and by then, they will constitute the largest single cohort of consumers and employees worldwide.
Business leaders take note, this generation is already rewriting the rules for success and failure and will be one of the greatest forces for disruption and empowerment the world of work has ever known. They are unhindered by preconceived notions of how things should be done, and their digitised view of the world ensures that they can imagine entirely new ways of doing things. We predict that this generation will drive changes in the world of work that will have as far reaching an impact as the industrial revolution had 200 years ago.
To support this claim we share with you, in Part 1 of this two series article, how the rules for competitive advantage have changed and why. In Part 2 we show why these changes in competitive advantage play naturally into the hands of the Connection Generation and in doing so we also provide you with a framework and new business script for building a competitive advantage in an era of turbulent change.