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What can you do to tackle the onslaught of the «new barbarians»? Should you build barriers around your traditional business or enlist an army of lawyers? Rather than trying to defend your territory at all costs, another option would be to draw inspiration from the practices of your aggressors. In short, equip your company with the weapons it needs to develop and grow in an increasingly turbulent world.

1. RECOGNIZE THE NEED TO CHANGE
New and openly aggressive actors, disregard for the regulated economy, the digital revolution: traditional balances are being undermined and existing players are under threat. The first step is to understand what is happening.

Open your eyes: you’ve already been hacked!
You might not know it, but there is every chance that a barbarian of the new economy is targeting your company as you read this. Banking, aerospace, power generation, trade and all manner of services – no sector can escape the growing numbers of young entrepreneurs with a thirst for innovation and an eye on niche markets. The problem is that they want to set up in your backyard. In Paris alone, there are 3,000 start-ups and at least 300 incubators. The young companies that are a product of this creative fervor will prompt everyone – even you – to innovate sooner or later.

Look at the world through the eyes of a barbarian
A new barbarian may already be dissecting your business model in search of an opening where they can grow a new project. But what if, rather than trying to escape their prying eyes, you experimented by observing your own company from the barbarian’s perspective? It is an exercise that could help you identify:
– Areas of weakness: sources of revenue that have escaped attack up to now but that could easily be overthrown, or domains open to the rapacity of nearby actors
– Potential growth areas: a plan B that would enable you to expand your business in a new direction if necessary, or genuine growth drivers capable of revitalizing your traditional business model

2. CHANGE YOUR STANCE
Does your market attract envious glances? Looking on with contempt at these potential interlopers is not a wise response. Also, you should abandon the idea of carrying out micro-adjustments that will probably have no impact over the long term. Hacking your own business model requires you to be innovative and aggressive!… Read more

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The Uberization of your business: threat or opportunity?

CouvUberUsbisBased on «Révolutionnez votre business model, avant que les Nouveaux Barbares ne le fassent pour vous!» by Patrick Benoît and Nicolas Mariotte (Harvard Business Review, 2015); “La transition numérique au cœur de la stratégie d’entreprise” (TheFamily for BPI France and La Poste, 2015); and «Uber, Airbnb: les barbares attaquent le marché du travail et le modèle social» by Guillaume Allègre (l’Économe blog, 2015).