Now for the discussion on how Disruption and AI will challenge your external relationships, quite differently to the past, other external relationships to be discussed in future blogs. As has been discussed previously - Disruption and AI may emerge quickly in a fast paced uncertain and risky environment.
Your customer relationship will depend on trust, openness, dependability, reliability not to mention price, quality and offer uniqueness. As time has progressed with technology and globalization you may have integrated your systems with the customer, you may have social media and online payment options. Customers may be comfortable with your staff, your offer and remain loyal - for now at least.
Imagine an emerging Disruption (be that a trade war, Brexit, Trump tweet or some new technology with advanced AI) - it may be a disruption that advantages you, it may advantage your competition or may advantage your customer. The Disruption may even eliminate your offer or your industry (only yesterday flying cabs, similar to driverless drones, were announced to be rolled out in Melbourne, Australia in a few years) - so how will you rate the changes, how will you decide what will flow on to your organization ?
Once you have thought about the Disruption and how it may affect your organization - how will it change your customer relationship ?
If robots are rolled out in a retail store that increases sales by 20% due to customer like for the change - will your organization follow ? what are the advantages and disadvantages ? are your customers the same, will they follow ?
Another example may be that you have integrated all of your systems with the customer, a AI solution rolls out and is half the price, twice as fast and delivers you cost savings. How will you approach the cost of new systems integration with your customer - will they follow you or will they just go to your competition ?
In a Disruption environment your relationship with customers is likely to change fast, likely to move in opposing directions that may confuse customers or decrease their trust in your organization. One way might be to sit and prepare a disruption plan (see my book for ideas) that is discussed regularly with customers in order for them to be a deeper partner with you - a relationship that can consider rapid change and maintain trust. Customers are important to your organization, yet you cannot operate in isolation away from the emerging Disruption and competition. Including customers in your commercial decision making may seem new and even risky - yet leaving them in the dark may have even worse consequences.
Consider the Disruption today and work with customers to maintain trust no matter what the modern environment throws up !
In a Disruption environment leaders will be required to have more skill in this area, be able to explain and influence more change (even if it is in opposite directions and without notice). Leaders of the future must act quickly and yet have time to listen and engage, be able to work in uncertainty and risk.
Consider hiring leaders now with additional skills ready for Disruption ! avoid the lost opportunities of having managers without the leadership skills required.
If you are a Leader or seeking to be one in the future - you need to read, read, read about Disruption NOW ! Those that fail to understand and adjust will fall behind.
Feel free to ask Dr Mat over a chat or email on Leadership, Management or change issues, advice, consulting or mentoring that you may seek.
These and other related topics feature in Dr Mats book titled "Leading and Managing Change in the Age of Disruption and Artificial Intelligence" - written for the modern professional, student and academic - anyone wanting to be ahead on modern Leadership and Management issues.
Available through Amazon (kindle version out now, hard copy can now be purchased) - https://www.amazon.com/dp/1787563685 . This book has been strongly endorsed - so use this link to review the endorsements, or to preview Chapter 1, table of contents and the preface from Amazon (kindle version button) - consider buying this book or recommend it to professional colleagues or friends/family, students and academics.
Dr Mat is also on Twitter - @DrMat14
Consider your own specific situation and seek professional advice before acting directly in reaction to any of the tips on this website, they are intended as general advice only.