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Leadership and followership
Leadership and followership

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2.1 A case study

Rapid changes in technology can have a catastrophic effect on businesses.

Take the example of Kodak, a well-known technology company that dominated the photography industry for much of the twentieth century, but filed for bankruptcy in 2012.

A pile of old-fashioned film cassettes.
Figure 2 Disruptive changes in technology.

The disrupter in this case was digital photography, and while Kodak researched and invested in the technology, their mistake was ultimately to see online photo sharing as an addition to their existing print photography business, rather than the new business model they would need to embrace to future-proof their organisation.

Anthony (2016) explains that there are lessons to learn from Kodak’s experience. He advises that companies facing disruption should ask themselves the following questions:

  1. What is the problem we are solving for our customers?
  2. What new opportunities does the disruption open up?
  3. What capabilities do we need to realise these opportunities?

Can you think of other technologies that seem likely to disappear in the future, for example, DVDs?