If you’ve turned on reality television lately (and I’m sorry if you have), you have seen a lot of overconfident folks who think highly of their ability to cook, sing, model, dance — whatever — when in actual fact most of them stink. The spectacle of these shows comes from watching to see if these people ever accept the painful gap between their perceived and actual abilities. 

From data we have just published today in a new Forrester report, Assess Your Digital Disruption Readiness Now (client access required), it turns out that digital disruption is like reality TV in at least this one way: There is a significant, even painful, gap between how ready some executives think they are to engage in digital disruption and the actual readiness of the enterprise. 

This disparity rears its ugly head at a crucial time. As Forrester principal analyst James McQuivey has recently written in his book Digital Disruption, digital disruption is about to completely change how companies do business. Digital tools and digital platforms are driving the cost of innovation down to nearly zero, causing at least 10 times as many innovators to rush into your market while operating at one-tenth the cost that you do. Multiply that together and you face 100 times the innovation power you did just a few years ago under old-fashioned disruption (see figure). 

Digital disruption enables 10x the innovators to operate at 1/10th the cost, resulting in 100x the disruptive power

This presents every executive with a question: Are you ready? Does your company have a disruptive enough mindset to completely internalize digital tools and platforms and thus become the disruptor rather than the disruptee?

Today, James McQuivey and I introduce a tool designed to help you answer exactly that question. Forrester’s Digital Disruption Readiness Assessment Tool (subscription required) is a self-test that companies can use to assess how ready they are to become digital disruptors. The tool evaluates the energy, skills, and policies at your firm from the perspective of the most important players in digital disruption: the employees. We've already tried the tool out on hundreds of executives, allowing you to benchmark your performance against other companies. By taking the short version of the assessment, you will be placed in one of four buckets relative to the other companies. Knowing where you stand will give you particular areas of focus that you should prioritize to take on the title of digital disruptor.

So, next steps:

1.       Read the report (if you're a client).

2.       Take the assessment (open to all) and distribute it to your peers and team.

3.       Benchmark your performance.

4.       Start the conversation about the first three priorities you need to address.

5.       Sign up to join us for a free Webinar about digital disruption in March.

6.     Stop watching reality TV.

Okay, that last one is optional, but the others you should get started on ASAP, and embrace digital disruption before it unmercifully dismisses you in front of a live studio audience – the whole business world. James and I will be here offering guidance along the way, too, so don’t hesitate to reach out. Happy disrupting!