By John Wysseier, President and Chief Executive Officer, The CEI Group, Inc.
I’m pleased to introduce a new blog, which is entitled “Disruptive Leadership.” This theme is prompted by the fact that technology is advancing at an unprecedented pace and making sweeping changes to society, markets, and leadership. These changes are creating new competitive and leadership challenges and opportunities every day.
While my perspective reflects my personal and professional experience within the insurance and automotive fleet industry segments, the power of technological advances including but not limited to Big Data, Data Visualization, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, and Cognitive Natural Language is like a tidal wave. It can either inundate and drown decision-makers or deliver a treasure trove of newfound actionable intelligence from which to create sustainable competitive advantage.
Back in the early 2000s, CEI made a gamble by offering driver safety and risk management services aimed at reducing the number of fleet automotive crashes. Collision repair was CEI’s core business, and it wasn’t lost on Wayne Smolda, CEI’s Founder and Chairman, that this move could potentially cannibalize the cornerstone of the CEI business. Instead, the outcome was that CEI became a leader in fleet driver safety while, at the same time, continuing to expand its auto claims management business.
The kind of thinking behind CEI’s decision is only one example of what I consider Disruptive Leadership. In this case, it involved using an existing and proven technology – the Internet – to collect data describing driver behavior and, after analyzing it, to identify problem drivers and deliver remedial training to target the root cause of the issue. The end result was a stronger company that posed a meaningful threat to its direct competitors.
So, like the present, the future of business is going to continue to feature disruption as a way of life. The companies of today are likely to fall into one of two categories: the disruptors and the disrupted. To avoid the latter, businesses need executive leadership that has mastered the principles of disruptive leadership and has their finger on the pulse of many industries to spot trends early and act on them.
My objective for this column is to create a dialog, a forum where leaders from all industries gather to share experiences, insights, and wisdom into how to discover and leverage new technologies and problem-solving techniques to shake up their respective industries. I sincerely hope our readers will join in on the discussion in a way that creates a learning community that grows and evolves, that alerts and informs us all within this brave new world. I strongly encourage you to connect with me on LinkedIn and Twitter and leave feedback and content suggestions on my articles as I post them there as well. My vision is for our shared leadership community to actively participate in the Disruptive Leadership blog in an open and inviting manner. Join in on the conversation on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/john-wysseier/