Over recent decades many CEOs have honed a primary focus on short-term earnings. While the resulting unprecedented growth has been received with praise from shareholders, investors and the press, today’s business leaders increasingly understand that this approach is no longer sustainable in this transformative age, defined by disruption and innovation.
Companies must now become disruption ready—adept at both responding to disruption and initiating it. They must seize the upside of disruption, simultaneously optimizing one’s current business while laying the groundwork to disrupt it.
The shift in mindset is illustrated by the results of EYQ’s global institutional investor survey, part of the research shared in our recent report, The CEO imperative: seize the upside of disruption or be disrupted:
- Contrary to conventional wisdom, 67% of institutional investors want companies to undertake potentially disruptive innovation projects even if they are risky and may not deliver short-term returns.
- 73% of institutional investors say that corporate disruption readiness will become more important to their investment decision-making over the next five years.
The new mindset is characterized by the notion of duality — the co-existence of imperatives that are in contrast or conflict with each other but together make up two essential parts of the total system or outcome. In the connected and accelerated digital economy, we must address these contrasting imperatives not only simultaneously, but together.
As one of the CEOs in our disruption study remarked, “We look at this as a ‘here and now’ and a ‘tomorrow into the future.’ And the trade-offs for the short term and the long term have to live together. It’s not an ‘either/or.’ It is necessary to be able to do both at the same time.”