Unless you’re an evolutionary biologist, you probably aren’t an expert in the theory of evolution. For most people, all they know about it is the name Darwin, the occasional debate about whether it’s true (spoiler alert: it is), and some vague idea about “survival of the fittest”.
But let’s look at that phrase “survival of the fittest”.
Many people assume “fittest” means strongest, healthiest, most powerful – i.e. “fit” as we use the word when talking about physical fitness.
But that’s not what “fittest” means here. It means something completely different: those who are the best fit for the environment. In other words: adaptable, flexible, innovative, and able to change.
This is a crucial difference.
This is not just quibbling about the meaning of a word in a scientific theory. It’s a profound difference about the way the world works now.
In the past, the other definition of “fit” also worked, because size, strength, longevity and power did determine your success. But that’s no longer the case – and it’s exactly why large, established businesses (and industries) are disrupted by smaller, newer, more nimble competitors. Those disrupted businesses didn’t get smaller or weaker, but they no longer fit their environment.
So how do you get “fitter”?
It takes just two things: one external and one internal:
- Solve Problems: Be sure you understand the real problems of your customers, clients, and stakeholders – and know how to solve them.
- Leverage Talent: Be sure you have the right people with the right skills to solve those problems.
Many organisations start out with both those boxes ticked. But over time, the outside world changes, and they don’t adapt to those changes. If you want to survive – and thrive – do what it takes to solve problems and leverage talent.
Disruption By Design – Find Out More
It’s disruption when it happens to you, it’s innovation when you do it. Are you ready to embrace disruption by design?