In the past 2 decades, the business landscape has witnessed industries being disrupted in ways unimaginable. Values of many of these disruptive businesses have exceeded the decades-old well-established incumbent companies. Many of these disruptive companies were founded by some version of “2 guys in a garage” – a very small number of people, with very little money who had nothing but an idea and a great deal of motivation to not live in the business-as-usual world. How is it that these folks, under-funded, inexperienced, and with little resources, could disrupt large businesses who have very highly-paid talented leaders, with enormous resources in fancy offices?
This question should be a quarterly leadership question for every business unit and executive management team regardless of industry or size. “What would 2 guys in a garage looking to disrupt us do?” should be the new strategic question. Yes, you still need to see what the competition is doing, but they are not the “2 guys in a garage.” You still need to make operational improvements and get better at what you do, but the “2 guys in a garage” are counting on you doing that the way you always have. You still need to hire good talent and develop talent but those 2 guys are counting on your bureaucracy and politics to slow you down every step of the way.
This week, simply ask the new question. If you can come up with good answers, good, If you cannot, you do not have the right people on your team.