5 Characteristics of Digital Giants that Enable Domination

Skip Prichard

Own and disintermediate the customer relationship. This disintermediation of the customer account control is a hallmark of digital giants. . Rule the World. How is extreme consolidation changing global business? What are the most innovative companies doing to position themselves?

How To Lead In Uncertainty


Before reaching the top of the S-Curve, there will be disintermediation, which moves humanity from the current S-Curve to a new one. In the last few months, the world has been learning devastating lessons from uncertainty.


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Future of work and prognostications following the covid19 pandemic

Mike Cardus

We are all talking about the Future of Work and what workplaces, leadership, and how we work will look like in the future. A smart friend Frank Ciccia and I were talking about patterns we are noticing within workplaces and employee wellness.

Ambiverts win - Daniel Pink at World Innovation Forum.

CEO Blog

So they coined the word "Disintermediation"". I have blogged often about one of my favorite writers and speakers - Daniel Pink. I wrote a review of his book a Whole New Mind. And I shared one of his videos. And blogged when I last hear him speak live. I guess you could say I am a bit of a Daniel Pink groupie. Today he spoke about sales - a topic near to my heart. The quotes below are what Pink said (although sometimes paraphrased because I can only type so fast.)

CEO 116

Leadership and Competition

N2Growth Blog

I’m always on the lookout for new practitioners entering the market where we have practice areas, disruptive technology, or changes in the landscape that could disintermediate certain aspects of the market. By Mike Myatt , Chief Strategy Officer, N2growth. Competition is only to be feared if not understood. If understood, competition is not only healthy, but it can also be very prosperous.

Disruptive Business Models | N2Growth Blog

N2Growth Blog

So, in today’s post I’ll examine the power of disruption as a key business driver… Disruptive business models focus on creating, disintermediating, refining, reengineering or optimizing a product/service, role/function/practice, category, market, sector, or industry.

When AI Becomes the New Face of Your Brand

Harvard Business

Executives should also be wary of how AI increases the dangers of brand disintermediation. The Curious Incident of Brand Disintermediation. Furthermore, as those systems become increasingly capable, they could potentially lead to brand disintermediation. Cat Yu for HBR. In the world of marketing, brand anthropomorphism can be a powerful mechanism for connecting with consumers.

What Africa’s Banking Industry Needs to Do to Survive

Harvard Business

But banks cannot control the rules of engagement as they have in the past, since customers now have more choices and are more fragmented, and disintermediation by fintech is making it harder to earn fees. The old banking order is failing in Africa and central banks are losing their powers with all the disintermediation. Across Africa, banking is being redesigned. Technology has emerged as a competitive weapon in driving operational excellence and superior service quality.

Lipitor and iPhone 4s: Setting the Stage for Industry Disruption

Harvard Business Review

In both instances, the life-cycle management innovation involves using disintermediation to change how the customer interacts with the product. Broad expansion of such disintermediation in the pharmaceutical business could, of course, encounter numerous hurdles. But what observers missed was Apple's canny use of disintermediation — in this case, technological disintermediation — at the end of the life cycle to prepare the way for the future.

The Best Salespeople Do What the Best Brands Do

Harvard Business

Digital commerce and disintermediation have caused many customers to question the importance of having a sales relationship at all. It’s not news that the role of salespeople and selling is changing. In the past, salespeople were often the first step in a purchase process, and could significantly influence customer decision-making by controlling information about pricing, availability, competitive advantage, etc.

We Don’t Need a Whole New Regulatory Regime for Platforms Like Uber and Airbnb

Harvard Business

Some point to disintermediation elements as evidence that these markets are new, but these elements have also existed for years. Many online platform businesses, such as Uber and Airbnb, have so far had a pretty easy ride when it comes to regulation.

How Technology Is Transforming Retail - SPONSOR CONTENT FROM Ocado

Harvard Business

The big retailers are getting squeezed and disintermediated at both ends. By Paul Clarke, Chief Technology Officer, Ocado. Across the retail landscape, a war is going on, and the battles are being fought on multiple fronts: business models, channels, brands, customers, technologies, and more. Some of these are old scores reignited by new protagonists armed with new weapons, but quite a few are new clashes.

Blockchain Will Transform Customer Loyalty Programs

Harvard Business

Many industries have experienced disruption, due to technologies that successfully reduced inefficiencies and frictions, often disintermediating established players in the process. Loyalty programs have proliferated across travel, retail, financial services, and other economic sectors. The average U.S. household participates in 29 different loyalty programs, according to the 2015 Colloquy Loyalty Census.

Blockchain Could Make the Insurance Industry Much More Transparent

Harvard Business

Intermediaries or “trust brokers” do not have to be written out of the equation — or disintermediated — as many blockchain enthusiasts argue. While Edward Lloyd is largely credited with commercializing the insurance industry, with the creation of his namesake firm, Lloyd’s, over 330 years ago, the original concept of spreading risk (or “mutualizing”) goes back even further.

How Smart Speakers Are Poised to Reinvent the Travel Industry

Harvard Business

Yet, more so than traditional travel providers, these companies face possible disintermediation by smart speakers, which will be capable of aggregating potential travel options on command. HBR Staff/Victor Cardoner/Getty Images. Marriott recently teamed up with Amazon to offer a hospitality version of the e-commerce giant’s Echo devices in select hotel rooms.

The Solution to the Skills Gap Could Already Be Inside Your Company

Harvard Business

To the contrary, I believe programs like AT&T’s provide opportunities to keep employee populations relevant—and those with relevant skills are less likely to get disintermediated. Is the developed world on the verge of a skills crisis? The challenge is obvious: the quickening pace of technological change has shrunk the shelf life of skills acquired by today’s university graduates to just a few years.

Innovating the Library Way

Harvard Business Review

Disintermediation is inevitable.". The original value proposition of the library was not just free books but something more, something I learned as a seven-year-old at the Dunbar Public Library in Vancouver, B.C. The library looked like dumpy, public architecture but it was in fact a house of many mansions, a place of possibility, a portal. Space travel, time travel, identity travel, you name it, the library could do take you there. But other media can make the same promise.

Morning Advantage: The Revolution Will Be Organized

Harvard Business Review

What Happened to Disintermediation? Even in this digital age, argues Hugo Dixon in his Reuters column , rebellions still need strategy, and to get a strategy, you must have leaders. While the "Twitter revolutions" of the Arab spring have us all a-chirp about leaderless movements, Dixon points out that those movements have struggled to get the results the participants want.

Procurement's Best-Priced Deal May Stifle Innovation

Harvard Business Review

In other words, innovation occurs when we bypass or disintermediate procurement. But, alas, the innovation disintermediation and disempowerment provoked by procurers with their eyes a little too focused on the bottom line have demanded this fundamental shift.

The Fight Over Tesla Shows How Little Value Dealerships Add

Harvard Business Review

In the same way as when travel agents were disintermediated by websites and direct sales, the quintessential auto dealership may now be counting its last days, only creating more inefficiencies in the supply chain than the value it provides. The process of intermediation and disintermediation in different industries is an essential part of innovating business models. Last week New Jersey started enforcing a ban on direct sales by Tesla Motors of its path-breaking model S.

Tesla Goes Big, Not Home

Harvard Business Review

Tesla has challenged the automotive business model on other occasions: it disintermediated car dealerships and then adopted a switching station model. Last week Elon Musk, the iconoclastic CEO of Tesla Motors declared that Tesla would effectively allow any competitor to use its patents portfolio. Shortly after, BMW and Nissan announced that they wanted to cooperate with Tesla on technology and standards.

What an OTT Future Means for Brands

Harvard Business Review

Using software, like the apps on new “smart” TVs, or hardware, like Roku or Chromecast devices, any consumer with a strong Internet connection can now bypass the disintermediated MSO. Disintermediating traditional media pipes to the audience compels brands to maximize ownership of consumer touch points to deliver content, experiences, and products. If you haven’t heard of OTT , short for “over the top,” you will soon.

Tina Brown and Björk, Sisters of Innovation

Harvard Business Review

Their print and music industries are being disintermediated by the digital revolution. Björk and Tina Brown have many differences but one common problem: They are watching the boat beneath them sink. They are struggling to respond to the blue-ocean and white-space and black-swan disruption that besets us all. Brown is a British-born journalist, columnist, talk-show host, and author. She edited Tatler and The New Yorker. She is now the editor of Newsweek and The Daily Beast.

A Better Way to Handle Publicly Tweeted Complaints

Harvard Business Review

How smart are customer-centric firms that effectively train complainers to disregard or disintermediate their contact centers? Yes, listening to customers is great. Social media sites are fabulous for facilitating customer dialogue. I even believe that complaints are a gift. But I also know perverse incentives and unintended consequences when I see them.

Lessons from the Industry Formerly Known as "The Record Business"

Harvard Business Review

Disintermediation has forced a focus on talented individuals who produce great art. A record company's value used to be measured by the acquisition, protection, and exploitation of copyrights. Exploiting those copyrights by selling songs is an easy business model to understand and used to be the foundation of a very healthy global industry. Historically, the record business was the heart of the music industry. Sell a lot of records and you were a successful business.

The New Trust vs. Due Diligence Dilemma

Harvard Business Review

Disintermediating the analysis was the right and responsible choice. The economics and accountability of due diligence have changed. The managerial ability and responsibility to access the source material upon which critical decisions are made has improved so dramatically that traditional business notions of oversight and trust are obsolete. The executive implications for time management and, more important, people management are enormous.

Who Rules the Web Now?

Harvard Business Review

Amazon's widget that makes it easy to shop from inside Facebook reveals one way this oligopoly will become increasingly interconnected, while disintermediating as many others as it can. [For more, visit the Communication Insight Center.]. At the recent Online Publishers Association Member Summit, the two of us gave a keynote in which we presented some hypotheses about the future of online competition.

CPM 12

A Failure That Still Haunts Me

Harvard Business Review

But their pushback was firm: disintermediated meetings were preferred to ones facilitated by a third-party like myself. My most irritating — and surprising — professional failure came from what I thought would be a straightforward success. In the immortal words of failed CIA intelligence director George Tenet , I had a " slam dunk " innovation opportunity with a top MIT lab. I was wrong. Completely. It continues to bother me.

Apple's Trojan Horse

Harvard Business Review

Now that we''re done, or nearly done, disintermediating old media like the newspaper, and supply chains like the book store, it''s time to solve that vexing problem of having to get ourselves from one place to another. Yes, we disintermediated the channels of culture, communication, and distribution. Last week Apple''s Tim Cook made fleeting reference to "new product categories." Bloomberg West called it " tantalizing.".

The Real Secret to Thriving Amid Disruptive Innovation

Harvard Business Review

It's media disintermediation at work! I'm sitting at DLD , a new-media conference hosted by an old media company (German magazine publisher Burda) in Munich. Arthur Sulzberger Jr. of the New York Times Co. and Hubert Burda of Burda are onstage talking about their experiences in a transformed media landscape. I want to feel useful, so I start tweeting about it. I am not alone.

The Future of Marketing, as Seen at Cannes Lions

Harvard Business Review

Many of these dinosaurs – agencies in particular — seemed a bit panicked about being disintermediated. Last year I wrote a post titled The Dinosaurs of Cannes about the scene at the Cannes Lions Festival , the ad industry’s star-studded annual awards show.

What’s Holding Uber Back

Harvard Business Review

That allows cab drivers to offer many of the conveniences of Uber without being disintermediated. As a consumer, I absolutely love Uber. The other week I was at a dinner in a relatively remote part of Singapore. Afterwards, the hotel concierge furiously worked three phones to get taxi cabs to appear for the 15 people who were waiting with growing impatience. I clicked three buttons, and my ride was there in 12 minutes. It’s simple, and it works beautifully.

Four Tips for Better Strategic Planning

Harvard Business Review

To counter this dynamic, the CEO of a large financial services firm banned her organization from using a list of words and phrases such as “leverage” “synergy,” “disintermediation,” and “robust” (to pick a few of the most overused terms ). No great strategy was born without careful thought. That’s why the process of planning a strategy itself is an important vehicle for setting priorities, making investment decisions, and laying out growth plans.

I Wasn’t Hiding From You, Boss. I Was Just Being Productive.

Harvard Business Review

military – the disintermediating power of the internet has finally reached into the halls of power. Oz Was Right? Hiding From Managers Can Increase Your Productivity HBS Working Knowledge I''m sitting here, alone, in HBR''s library, writing about how my decision to relocate from my open workspace is making me much more productive. It''s not merely because it''s quieter ; research from Harvard Business School professor Ethan S.

Great Marketing Is Utilitarian

Harvard Business Review

And yet, with this tremendous access and disintermediated channel, what have we gotten? In any supermarket chain, some things are easy to find. Apples. Bread. But if you're looking for flaxseeds? Coconut milk? Prunes? Who among us has not felt the stirrings of super-market rage as we crisscross the fluorescent-lit maze of shelves, our shopping carts banging together as we search for a single palatable salami? This is a problem good marketing can solve.

Reinvigorate a Disengaged Sales Force

Harvard Business Review

The issue facing most sales forces is not disintermediation. A stunning 70% of U.S. workers say they are "not engaged" or "actively disengaged" with their work, according to Gallup''s ongoing study of the American workplace from 2010 through 2012. Sales reps — the people who represent your firm with customers — are not an exception. What must you do, at a minimum, to regain the trust and recharge the talent of sales people? Two steps are foundational.

What Salespeople Need to Know About the New B2B Landscape

Harvard Business Review

Specious talk about disintermediation of salespeople obscures the real issues facing firms. Selling has always been more about the buyer than the seller. So any effective sales model must adapt to changing buying protocols, not ignore or resist them. This is a big transition for firms whose marketing, sales-training and enablement tools, and wider organizational processes reflect outdated assumptions about purchasing in their markets.


Innovating the Toyota, and YouTube, Way

Harvard Business Review

Obviously, innovation investments shouldn't make it easier for suppliers to compete with or disintermediate their customers. In terms of people, processes and technologies, Toyota and Google's YouTube have little in common. As global innovators, however, they share a remarkable core value and best practice: they invest in the innovative capabilities of their suppliers. They don't just partner; they provide resources that add value.

Making Sense of Owned Media

Harvard Business Review

But the future of engagement is about regaining control over your data, disintermediating the current channel owners, and creating ongoing relationships with customers beyond individual transactions. Marketers often distinguish between paid, earned, and owned media. While the strategies are different, the goal is the same — to generate awareness and engagement. Paid and earned get most of the attention, but the new battleground is going to be owned media.

How Smaller Bets Can Revitalize Hollywood

Harvard Business Review

Now that cultural content could go directly to the consumer, "disintermediation" was inevitable. Bachelorette , a film starring Kirsten Dunst, created a small sensation this summer when it was released to video-on-demand (VOD) a month ahead of it's September 7 theatrical debut. Normally, movies come to us through the bricks and mortar channel of our local cinema and only then by VOD delivery. Bachelorette is not the first film released this way, but it is the first to do so well.

What the Marketing Agency of the Future Will Do Differently

Harvard Business Review

How do agencies ensure their future by being able to help brands sell more and build stronger loyalty in such a disrupted and disintermediated world, where every individual is consuming so much media from so many different channels? It's a murky, unclear future for the marketing agency, but one thing is for certain: things are changing at an exponential pace. An agency used to act as the executional arm of the marketing department.

How to Succeed in Business by Bundling – and Unbundling

Harvard Business Review

Barksdale: I think we use the term “disintermediate” a lot more than we do “unbundle from these terrible corporations.” Much of the business story of the digital age so far has been about taking products and institutions apart — unbundling them. Music CDs were unbundled into MP3s that were sold (and illicitly downloaded) individually. Newspapers have been unbundled by blogs and classified ad sites. Now, digital-education upstarts are trying to unbundle the university.