News was released this week that the market share of three out of the big four UK supermarkets has declined further. Losing market share to upstart discounters who have entered a mature market with a different business model is making the traditional market leaders incredibly nervous. Whilst Lidl & Aldi grew 16% and 17.3% respectively in the past twelve weeks, Asda, Tesco & Morrison’s all lost market share (even Sainsbury’s, who did manage to grow, only managed less than 1% growth over the same period, but see all stats yourself). Whilst leadership teams at the big four supermarket chains are likely still busy strategizing over the threat from the growing discount retailers, another game changing industry disruption is already underway. Amazon, who started as an online bookstore, is entering the fresh food retail market. Amazon Fresh is rumoured to be launching shortly in the UK and industry experts are still uncertain as to what this will do to the UK food retail market? How will the players in the market respond to yet another disruption? Will a new competitor from a non-related industry disrupt the UK food retail market and how will the existing market leaders respond? Will this disruption even change the buying behaviour of British consumers?
Being able to respond to disruptive innovation within your market doesn’t always require the biggest budgets, the newest technology or the largest workforce. Often it just requires a change of mind-set. Whether this be helping your clients change their view of how to apply what they already have in a different way, helping your employees change how they approach their work, helping enact a culture change or changing how leaders within the organisation recruit, reward and engage with their teams, organizations can become more agile and better able to deal with any disruptions that come their way.
1. In recent years some of the biggest disruptions in HR have included; Social networking & the impact on employee engagement
HR had to completely readdress how to engage a workforce and a candidate pool, who were using social technology in all other areas of their life. Many HR departments have still not mastered this one, but with the pace of change within the social network space increasing, even those HR teams who consider themselves ‘social’ could soon fall behind if they don’t keep up to date with how their people are engaging with social. Even back in 2013 social only recruitment was becoming more common, with the early stage interview process also taking place via social channels or even being crowdsourced. Mastercard had some great success in attracting and recruiting their interns through social networking.
2. Consumerization of business tech & total connectivity
The always on and always connected nature of the world today has changed how and where people work. HR often don’t meet the employees that they manage, support and engage. How HR communicate, the channels, the tone and the frequency of contact has shifted and follows a very different model to just ten years ago. Employees and customers are more tech savvy than ever. The minimum expectations of technology within the workplace has radically shifted how businesses operate, access 24/7 has become the norm and the number of HR systems in the cloud has exploded. Alongside this availability is the expectation of usability. Employees no longer expect to require training to use an HR system, it should be as intuitive as their smart phone, with a short vine or video clip required at most to explain how to complete a process.
In our industry I believe HR should be preparing for the next big disruption – whatever it may be. As Millennials (1975-1995) and Gen Z’ers (1995-2005) start to overtake the Baby Boomers (1945-1964and The Silent Generation (pre 1944) in both volume, spend and influence, the landscape in all markets is changing. No single industry will be immune. Many will have seen the references to Uber - the biggest taxi company that owns no cars, Facebook – the world’s most popular media company that creates no content, Alibaba – the world’s most valuable retailer that holds no inventory and Airbnb – the biggest accommodation provider that owns no property.
Where will the next big talent innovation come from? And are you ready to face it?