Prawo Archive


The Classic Theory of Disruption

Before we look at how things have evolved, let’s briefly review why Christensen’s theory proved so influential and, indeed, disruptive to existing ideas of competitive advantage.1 Traditional strategy had been anchored on the notion of “generic strategies” in which a company could compete at the high end by differentiating, at the low end by pursuing cost leadership, or focus on serving a specific niche exceptionally well.2 Christensen illustrated a way for new entrants to cheerfully ignore these basic strategy dynamics. He showed how a new kind of dangerous competitor could wreak havoc by entering at the low end of a market, where margins are thin and customers are reluctant to pay for anything they don’t need.

The new entrant comes in with a product or service that’s cheaper and more convenient but that doesn’t offer the same level of performance on the dominant criteria that most customers expect from incumbents that have been working on the technology for years. The incumbents feel they can ignore the newcomer. Not only are its products inferior, but its margins are lower and its customers less loyal. Incumbents choose instead to focus on sustaining innovation — making improvements to the features that have been of most value to their high-end customers.



In a Crisis, Companies Are Better Off Working Together

The private sector plays an essential role in humanitarian preparedness, response, and recovery efforts, but large numbers of independent actors—no matter how well intentioned—can introduce complexity and potential duplication of efforts, particularly when companies react in an ad hoc or uncoordinated way. 

To deliver maximum impact, many forward-thinking companies have begun to forge private-sector networks. These networks of companies and local businesses collaborate in a country or region to strengthen their own risk preparedness and to mobilize and coordinate the private-sector response to an emergency. 

In the lead-up to the 2016 World Humanitarian Summit (WHS), the United Nations consulted with more than 900 stakeholders (including large global companies as well as small and medium-sized enterprises) to try to understand how the private sector could best contribute to disaster risk reduction, preparedness, response, and recovery. As a result, the WHS called on the private sector to join with governments and other humanitarian actors in addressing the growing humanitarian challenges facing societies. 

By participating in these networks, companies can better identify their own vulnerabilities to hazards, improve their ability to reduce and manage risk and protect their workforce, understand how they can contribute to their communities in times of emergency, and develop new mechanisms and processes that allow them to recover more quickly in the wake of a crisis. It’s a smart move from a business perspective—and networks provide extraordinary benefits for society as well. When companies engage directly with key humanitarian actors in a coordinated way, they can deploy their unique capabilities and resources where they are needed most, which is enormously beneficial to communities in crisis.

A World of Hazards

Private-sector networks address three types of hazards.

  • Natural Hazards. These are natural processes or phenomena—such as earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, droughts, volcanic activity, and landslides—that may cause injury or loss of life, property damage, social or economic disruption, or environmental degradation.
  • Health Epidemics. These occur when a disease becomes widespread, clearly in excess of expected levels in a certain location and for a specific period. Recent examples include instances when Ebola, H1N1, and Zika led to epidemics. 
  • Man-Made Hazards. Examples include food shortages, industrial accidents, and conflict. They may involve political complexities, making it more challenging for the private sector to respond.                    

For companies to make a difference when disaster strikes, they must be well prepared at four levels. (See Exhibit 1.) At its foundation, a resilient company requires a prepared and ready workforce, and therefore companies must prepare employees for emergencies and help protect them and their families from harm. Employees must have adequate training and access to resources in order to respond safely and effectively in an emergency. 

Given a prepared and ready workforce, the company then needs strong business-continuity planning and smart, well-understood processes to secure company assets and keep operations running with minimal downtime when disaster strikes. 

The better prepared companies are in an industry sector, the better the sector will be positioned to respond in an emergency and the more valuable it will become as a partner to government and society in meeting the challenges of disasters and recovery. Furthermore, when companies in, for example, energy, communications, logistics, health, infrastructure, and consumer goods come back online quickly, the total economic and social impact of a disaster is smaller. 

In addition, companies can contribute beyond their own sector at the societal level to support operations nationally, regionally, or even globally. For example, logistics companies may transport emergency supplies to affected areas, or telecommunications companies may exploit their communications network to send emergency messages. (See “Lessons from Fiji.”) 

By Wendy Woods , David Young , Rudolf Müller , Marcos Neto , and Marcy Vigoda



Getting Uncomfortable on Purpose

Thinking about purpose in business was once a provocative and urgent activity. A seminal HBR article from 1994 states, “In most corporations today, people no longer know—or even care—what or why their companies are,” and argues that “strategies can engender strong, enduring emotional attachments only when they are embedded in a broader organizational purpose.” At the time, purpose was a disruptive idea, reminding companies how disconnected they had become from their raison d’être and inspiring them to re-articulate it, recommit to it, and mobilize around it.

Yet like many new ideas in business, what starts out as a provocation can easily become an empty word, a comfortable routine, or even an excuse for not facing the toughest issues. Indeed, interest in purpose has surged, peaked, and declined, suggesting that the concept, like CSR, agile, and other initially powerful business ideas, has been overused and diluted. (See Exhibit 1.)

A clear sign that purpose has lost its power is if discussing it is easy and comfortable—if in articulating purpose you are merely describing, rather than disrupting, how your company works. Such discussions are probably not adding much value. Yet the reasons for a serious consideration of purpose have only become more urgent. How can we get back to the raw power of the idea of purpose and jettison the ambiguity, complacency, and ritualization that have grown up around it?

What Is Purpose?

Purpose is developed at the intersection of aspiration, external need, and action. A purpose is an enduring aspiration formed around a need in the world that a company is willing and able to act on, using either intrinsic strengths or capabilities it could develop. For example, the world’s oldest company, Japanese construction firm Kongō Gumi, describes its purpose this way: “Kongō Gumi constructs shrines and temples that cultivate and bring calmness to your mind.”1 Although the company has probably articulated this purpose in different ways over time, and its offering and operations have evolved (the company was recently acquired), it has pursued the core social good of bringing calm to people’s minds since its founding 1,440 years ago.

At the heart of the idea of purpose are a number of discomforting tensions. (See Exhibit 2.) There is the tension between idealism and realism: on the one hand, you want to set forth an ideal that pushes your company to become something greater than it currently is, but on the other hand, you don’t want videos and speeches articulating lofty aspirations that are grossly mismatched with your company’s intention and capability to act. Reality without ideals takes you nowhere, but ideals without reality are equally fruitless: you end up either ignoring the ideal or pretending you are already living it.

Then there is the tension between imagination and existing needs. One can be guided by a dream—of what people’s lives or society could be like—using it as the basis for articulating a new need. Or one can set out to meet a palpable existing need. Serving acknowledged needs is likely to be more realistic but also to provide less differentiation from others. Shaping new needs offers greater possibilities for uniqueness and profit but is likely to be less feasible.

There is also the tension between having a positive impact on society and maintaining financial viability. When addressing an ideal cannot generate a return, the purpose will not be sustainable. On the other hand, when the need is conceived as little more than providing a useful product, the purpose is hardly inspiring. The tension is between fulfilling a societal need and keeping the machine of the business running to fund the purpose on a sustainable basis.

Finally, there is the tension between consistency of purpose over time and adaptation to changing conditions. On the one hand, a commitment that can be broken and reframed too easily is not a principled basis for an enduring identity. On the other, aspirations, needs, and capabilities all change over time, indicated by the dotted triangle in Exhibit 2; it is natural that even if your purpose endures, how you understand and act on it evolves as you experiment and learn in a changing world.

A good purpose integrates and balances all of these tensions. It is a balance of idealism (setting a real aspiration) and realism (not ignoring brutal truths); it is an imaginative way to meet a genuine need; it suggests a path for making an impact while attracting and maintaining sufficient resources to do so; and it captures what is timeless while leaving room for evolution of thought and action.  

By Ashley Grice , Martin Reeves , and Jack Fuller

More: The BCG Henderson Institute is Boston Consulting Group’s strategy think tank, dedicated to exploring and developing valuable new insights from business, technology, and science by embracing the powerful technology of ideas. The Institute engages leaders in provocative discussion and experimentation to expand the boundaries of business theory and practice and to translate innovative ideas from within and beyond business. For more ideas and inspiration from the Institute, please visit Featured Insights.


Strategy at the speed of digital

To succeed in the digital age, companies need to significantly raise their metabolic rate

In this episode of the Inside the Strategy Room podcast, we share McKinsey research on how fast and boldly companies need to move to win in the digital era, and describe some common pitfalls in digital strategy and ways to avoid them. This is an edited transcript. For more conversations on the strategy issues that matter, subscribe to the series on Apple Podcasts or on Google Play.

39:45 Audio ” Strategy at the speed of digital” in

Podcast transcript

Sean Brown: From McKinsey’s Strategy and Corporate Finance Practice, I’m Sean Brown. Welcome to Inside the Strategy Room. In this episode we discuss how digital leaders execute strategic moves with a speed and power that far exceeds those of their peers. I’m joined by co-authors of a recent McKinsey Quarterly article, “The drumbeat of digital: How winning teams play.” Tanguy Catlin is a senior partner in our Boston office who focuses on digital strategy and insurance clients. Laura LaBerge, based in Stamford, Connecticut, is a member of our digital strategy team. It’s my pleasure to welcome you both.

Laura, let me start with you. You and Tanguy previously wrote about pitfalls that cause digital strategies to fail. How does this new research expand on that?

Laura LaBerge: We started by looking into what is really known about disruption. It isn’t new—it’s been happening for centuries. Prior to digital, incumbents typically experienced a survival rate of less than 20 percent during extreme disruptions. So, we asked more than 2,000 organizations how well prepared they felt to navigate the current change, and 92 percent did not feel their current business model would be economically viable as digitization progressed. Tanguy and I wanted to understand why digital is so hard. We looked at organizations attempting large digital transformations and surveyed thousands of companies implementing digital change at various scales and with various degrees of success.


Sean Brown: Given this winner-takes-all scenario, how should an incumbent invest in digital? It seems to imply that you have to go big or go home.

Tanguy Catlin: You’re exactly right. Companies need to move faster and be bolder. Bolder might mean repositioning yourself on the chess board, and that involves M&A—both acquisitions and divestitures. And it’s a game of musical chairs, so you need to make sure there are still chairs for you and move faster toward your objective.

Laura LaBerge: Not only do you have to move faster but move first. Even five years ago, being a fast follower versus being first mover—there were differences between those strategic postures, but the outcomes were not drastically different. Now, being a first mover or extremely fast follower is starting to have significant economic benefits. Part of the reason is the rate at which organizations can learn with digital. In the past, it was often six months after a product launch that you would do the postmortem to understand what was working and what wasn’t. Now you can have three-day iterations. This causes is a rapid divergence. The first mover, rather than being on version 2.0 when someone offers a me-too product, is on version 40. This, combined with network effects, gives first movers a huge advantage. If you are first to lock in strategic partnerships, in many cases, just from a scale perspective, you win.


Sean Brown: What implications does your research have for midsize companies that may not have the resources to pursue large-scale M&A to acquire digital capabilities?

Laura LaBerge: Actually, a large percentage of the companies we surveyed were midsize organizations. Obviously, they are not doing M&A on the same scale as some huge incumbents, but we also saw that when M&A isn’t an option, partnerships are. You can partner in more strategic ways to gain digital capabilities.

Tanguy Catlin: The emergence of ecosystems creates many opportunities, just as eBay created a marketplace that all of a sudden allowed small and midsize enterprises a way out of competing on marketing to get exposure to customers. You don’t need to be the architect—the eBay—of the ecosystem and still find a marketplace that allows you to reach millions of customers.

About the authors: Sean Brown is McKinsey’s global director of communications for strategy and corporate finance and is based in the Boston office, where Tanguy Catlin is a senior partner; Laura LaBerge is a senior expert in the Stamford office.



Europa widziana z Polski

Polacy nadal pozytywnie postrzegają Unię Europejska, czują się jej obywatelami, jednak niezmiennie z nieufnością podchodzą do wspólnej waluty – wynika z najnowszego badania opinii Standardowy Eurobarometr 92. Wśród spraw, które niepokoją, na czołowych miejscach wymieniane są wzrost cen i kosztów utrzymania oraz kondycja służby zdrowia.

W dniach 14-29 listopada 2019 roku firma Kantar Polska zrealizowała na zlecenie Komisji Europejskiej badanie Standardowy Eurobarometr na reprezentatywnej próbie 1008 osób w wieku 15 i więcej lat, techniką wywiadów bezpośrednich w domach respondentów.

Standardowy Eurobarometr jest badaniem cyklicznym, realizowanym raz na pół roku we wszystkich państwach Unii Europejskiej (w okresie przeprowadzania badania Wielka Brytania była jeszcze częścią wspólnoty) oraz w krajach kandydujących: Turcji, Macedonii Północnej, Czarnogórze, Serbii i Albanii. Jego wyniki publikowane są w postaci ogólnodostępnych raportów.

Główne wnioski

Polacy pozytywnie postrzegają Unię Europejską, są z nią związani i czują, że ich głos ma znaczenie

  • Połowa badanych postrzega Unię Europejską pozytywnie, a prawie połowa jej ufa. Zdaniem Polaków główne problemy Unii to obecnie imigracja oraz zmiany klimatyczne. Ponad połowa ankietowanych uważa, że interesy Polski są dobrze uwzględniane w UE. Zdecydowaną większość Polaków charakteryzuje silna tożsamość europejska – 81% czuje się obywatelem UE, a 71% czuje się związanych ze wspólnotą. Jednocześnie 42% przyznaje, że w razie potrzeby w przyszłości Polacy poradziliby sobie będąc poza UE.

Większość Polaków ocenia polską gospodarkę pozytywnie. Nie zmieniają się jednak kwestie, które Polaków niepokoją – wzrost cen i kosztów utrzymania oraz służba zdrowia

  • 64% Polaków jest zadowolonych ze stanu polskiej gospodarki. Oceniają stan ekonomiczny kraju zdecydowanie lepiej niż wynosi średnia europejska (47% pozytywnych ocen). Od 2015 roku nieznacznie wzrosło zaufanie do polskiego rządu, które obecnie sięga 34%. Niewiele zmieniło się w kwestiach, które od dłuższego czasu najbardziej niepokoją Polaków, szczególnie w przypadku wzrostu cen/inflacji i kosztów utrzymania. Pogłębia się przekonanie, że to obecnie jeden z największych problemów w Polsce.

Polacy niezmiennie nieufni wobec euro, ale popierają wzmocnienie granic i wspólny system azylowy.

  • Opinie Polaków dotyczące wspólnej waluty utrzymują się na podobnym poziomie na przestrzeni ostatnich kilku lat (pomiędzy rokiem 2013 a dniem dzisiejszym poparcie dla Europejskiej Unii Gospodarczej i Walutowej wahało się między 33 a 40%). Większość Polaków sądzi jednak, że należy podjąć wspólne europejskie inicjatywy takie jak zewnętrzne wzmocnienie granic UE (77%) a także przyjąć wspólny system azylowy (53%).