Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Sept-Oct: Surviving Disruptive Technologies
Workload: 2-4 hours/week
FREE, offered by University of Maryland through Coursera.

The purpose of this course is to help individuals and organizations survive when confronted with disruptive technologies that threaten their current way of life.  We will look at a general model of survival and use it to analyze companies and industries that have failed or are close to failing.  Examples of companies that have not survived include Kodak, a firm over 100 years old, Blockbuster and Borders.   It is likely that each of us has done business with all of these firms, and today Kodak and Blockbuster are in bankruptcy and Borders has been liquidated.  Disruptions are impacting industries like education; Coursera and others offering these massive open online courses are a challenge for Universities.  In addition to firms that have failed, we will look at some that have survived and are doing well.  What are their strategies for survival?
By highlighting the reasons for the decline of firms and industries, participants can begin to understand how to keep the same thing from happening to them.   Through the study of successful organizations, we will try to tease out approaches to disruptions that actually work.  Our ultimate objective is to develop a strategy for survival in a world confronting one disruptive technology after another.