Disruption is nothing new; it’s just happening a lot faster and with greater impact than ever before. The good news, though, is that it’s not only possible to survive under such circumstances; great companies can even succeed and prosper in the midst of massive disruption.
Nearly a decade ago, author Nassim Nicholas Taleb released a book called Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder. The basic premise was that certain systems actually benefit from volatility and uncertainty. In other words, the opposite of fragility is not sturdiness; it is something else. Taleb calls it “antifragility”.
Antifragility means that when disruptive things
happen, you gain market share. You win new
customers. You operate more efficiently
than your competition. You win.
For companies facing unprecedented disruption in 2020 (and that includes just about everyone), agility is the key to that kind of success. But agility does not happen by accident; it is woven into an organization’s DNA. It must be created on purpose.
In nearly every case we could cite today, agility is driven by technology. Companies that understand the value of technology as a strategic asset will inevitably be better positioned to pivot when there is a shock to the system.
An Antifragile Example
Supply Chain Agility
In many respects, COVID has not created new problems, so much as it has exposed existing problems and made them worse. When slow-moving inventory starts to pile up, for example, agile companies will recognize the problem quickly and proactively disposition the product in order to avoid losses.
Real-Time End-To-End Visibility
A common theme throughout all of these examples is visibility. End-to-end (E2E) monitoring of all available inputs from the supply-chain, in real time, means that information flows faster and can inform good business decisions sooner than it otherwise would.