IADS Exclusive:, a case of internal disruption

IADS Exclusive November 2023 IADS

Disruption has been a very fashionable word in the past years as a general way to call for transformation in many markets where digitalization has changed the rules of engagement. Retail has not been spared of course by the rise of e-commerce, and for the past decade, retail CEOs have scratched their heads on how to adapt their analogue and legacy organisations to the new world. Going beyond the fact that everybody in the industry acknowledges that changes are needed, how can these be carried out effectively?

Back in September 2020, Dr Christopher Knee tackled the topic in his article “Responding to Disruption.” In that article, he was reviewing Geoffrey Moore’s 2015 theory (explained in his book Zone to Win) that, to innovate, companies should create dedicated spaces with specific teams, in charge of leading changes. Of course, this raises many questions in terms of how to maintain a common culture, purpose and sense of equality in century-old organisations where the sense of belonging is key. In his article, Dr Knee reviewed many real-world business cases, from Rinascente to Galeries Lafayette or SKP, Neighborhood Goods and Showfields.

A recent trip to Dubai to attend a series of conferences was the opportunity for the IADS to listen to another interesting business case, from Al Tayer, on how they created their online activity from scratch back in 2016. It is remarkable for two reasons: the first one is that Al Tayer usually keeps its business initiatives private, but the second one is because the way they carried the changes within the company can be seen as a real-life application of what Dr Knee explored back in 2020. 

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