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How businesses can survive digital disruptions

According to Raméz Baassiri, any plan can falter in the face of unexpected external forces. This may relate to a drop in the economy, of the fall-out from a natural disaster, or even a change in the weather. A further risk comes from new technologies, especially technology in the hands of emergent startups, through digital disruption. Digital disruption is especially challenging. This is a transformation caused by emerging digital technologies and business models. Such new technologies and models impact the value of existing products and services offered in the industry.

These various factors each impact upon consumer buying behaviour, and the resultant changes can, in turn, impact upon many businesses and how they operate.

Raméz Baassiri is the author of the book Interrupted Entrepreneurship: Embracing Change in the Family Business. The book focuses on ‘family business’. These are a distinct form of business representing 80 percent of all firms in the U.S. and 85 percent of companies in the European Union. He has provided some new insights into how to deal with such challenges in communication with Digital Journal.

In relation to businesses Baassiri acknowledges that the “evolving landscape of the future
Interruptions are uncontrollable, but you can choose how to confront and deal with those interruptions―and do so in a beneficial way to your business and your personal well-being.”

He adds that “interruptions within a business are as much a part of life as breathing and blinking. They are viewed by some as hiccups, challenges, or even crises.”

Instead of looking negatively at these changes, Baassiri says that disruptions also can be the catalyst for even greater success, depending on how they are handled. In terms of what family businesses can change when daily businesses activities are disrupted include:

Embrace change

Baassiri says: “Don’t just adapt to change, embrace it.” By this he means: “Every family business has dealt with and will deal with interruptions, from the expected changes and challenges of growth to the unexpected interruptions resulting from loss and poor decision-making, and everything in between.”

He adds: “You must be ready to accept and even embrace such changes as they come, to get creative with them and use them as a catalyst for improvement.”

Mass Transformative Purpose

By “Mass Transformative Purpose,” Baassiri means: “Think about the way in which your company plans to change the world. In other words, why does your business exist?”

By this: “Knowing that can help you stay focused and overcome seemingly impossible obstacles when they arise.”

Challenges become opportunities

“Missed opportunities and failures to turn interruptions in entrepreneurship into positive change abound in the business world”, according to Baassiri. He cites the example of Blockbuster turning down the opportunity to purchase of Netflix in 2000 for $50 million. Now Netflix is valued at more than $32 billion.

Diverse workforce

Baassiri recommends hiring a diverse team for each business. He notes how: “You can get stuck in your comfort zone because you see the same things every day and revolve in the same circles.”

Whereas the business leader requires “an extra set of eyes looking at the company from other angles and letting you know where your weak links are and where you can grow. Of course you won’t always agree, but that’s healthy; it means you’re being challenged.”

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Written By

Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, business, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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