Geoffrey Moore, Managing Director, Geoffrey Moore Consulting

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Date: Friday, May 06, 2016
Location: Santa Clara

There was hardly a more apt subject for a talk given in the heart of Silicon Valley to CEOs at the Alliance Regional Meeting on May 6th in Santa Clara: How can we compete in the age of digital disruption? To answer this question, Geoffrey Moore, technology marketing icon and author of Crossing the Chasm and many other books, acknowledged the broad impact digital technology has had on business: optimizing physical systems (Internet of Things) and digital systems (Data Science), collaborating on any scale (Social Networks), communicating with anyone anywhere (Smart Phones) and automating any service (Cloud Computing). That’s to say, digital has changed just about everything.

With the landscape so fundamentally altered, Geoffrey discussed his new book, Zone to Win: Organizing to Compete in an Age of Disruption in which he describes how companies must make clear strategic decisions regarding how to allocate resources between new lines of businesses (zone offense) and other business units, which are faced with fierce competitive attacks targeting their mature businesses (zone defense).

Geoffrey discussed the Four Zones: Productivity, Performance, Incubation and Transformation, and how every business must be managed differently based upon its current zone. Leaders must enable each of their business units to fight independently on multiple fronts, acting in parallel but not in lockstep. For example, new disruptive innovation business must focus on gaining new business and creating new business models while sustaining. Mature businesses must focus on improvement and line extensions.

Geoffrey’s life’s work has focused on the market dynamics surrounding disruptive innovations as a consultant for start-up companies and established high-tech enterprises alike. He drew on his experience to point out common mistakes in executing disruptive transformation such as trying to do more than one transformation at a time, withdrawing support before the tipping point is reached and failing to enforce absolute accountability for the transformation’s success. Geoffrey’s great enthusiasm for the challenge of fomenting transformation was on full display as he closed his talk and encouraged CEOs to “play the game” and consider taking on greater risks and decision complexity for ever-increasing rewards. For the full rundown on Geoffrey’s tested theories of disruption, check out his recent book Zone To Win: Organizing to Compete in the Age of Disruption.

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