HIDDEN DISRUPTION is the result of changing behaviour –
people start doing something else
The weak signals of behavioural changes start as a single
Slowly more behavioural changes appear from different parts of
Imperceptibly they form patterns of behavioural changes with
enough power to create HIDDEN DISRUPTION.
• HIDDEN DISRUPTION may cut volumes on markets or move
consumption to other categories or other products.
• HIDDEN DISRUPTION is a potential threat for companies if thrown
off by it - but it offers great opportunities if detected and understood
• HIDDEN DISRUPTION impacts more businesses harder than the hard
disruption everyone is looking for.
Den bedste udgave af mig
Rammen om succes
Mig og mine
Samvær og science
Rationel ramme om drømme
Ubleget og råt
Autentisk og livskvalitet
Mig og omverden
Økologi og ægthed
Wellness og nydelse
Harmoni og nærhed
Sårbarhed og kontrol
Ting vil aldrig gå tilbage til hvor de kom fra
One thing is certain, no matter what business or industry you are
Things will never be the same again. So waiting for things to get
“back to normal” is at best a waste of time, at worse threatening
for your business.
From violin classes to major market threat
Parents began to register their
children for ballet classes and
violin classes at a very young
age (3 years wait for violin
classes following the Suzuki
People began to read books
about upbringing by experts
focusing on routines, cleanliness
Parents began to use new methods to teach
babies how to sleep, i.e. letting them cry in
their beds for a certain amount of minutes
before going to see them and repeating this
at specific intervals
Parents enrolled their
children in hard-core
TV programmes celebrating the best
and wisest children
A site made it possible to
compare grades of schools
Baby Einstein products
(attempting to stimulate children to
higher capacity or intelligence)
became highly popular
Parents began to toilet-train their
children earlier in life in order to get
them up and running independently
Private help for homework was
being offered to gifted children,
as opposed to before, where it
was only considered relevant
for children with difficulties in
Parents started to switch the
balance between playing and
learning, focusing heavily on
Parents began to post their
children’s successes on
SoMe, everything from
grades in school to
accomplishments in the
• More restrictive towards kids
• Potty training sooner to speed up
• Reduced use of diapers
Possible market implications
• Potty training later to avoid “mess” • Increased use of diapers
• Focus on learning and increasing
• Potential new role for diapers as tool for
• New market opportunities
• Front- & back stage (trophy kids) • Kids become a part of parents image
• New market for “invisible” diapers• Parents want to “hide” the use of
• Parents use diapers as image creating
• Need for “branded” diapers as show off
• Increasing listening to experts • Potential new role for diaper brand as expert • New market opportunities
• New parent role – “parents in
• Parents re-install themselves as authorities
• New communication landscape; Parents
as filter for consumption and
POTENTIAL CONSEQUENCES OF CHANGE
For a global manufacturer of diapers, these behavioural changes turned out to have a massive impact.
The extend of the impact was easy to calculate.
The financial consequences of earlier toilet training were an extensive loss of diaper market.
The extend of this loss was depending on whether the children were toilet-trained 1, 3, 6, or 9 months earlier
than what parents used to, and the calculation could be modelled into the different outcomes of this.
An approach to see changes
leading to HIDDEN DISRUPTION
MANAGERS HAVE TO DO THINGS DIFFERENTLY
• Managers must start looking the other way. Instead of looking at their direct competitors, they have to look at
what is going on in people’s everyday lives.
• HIDDEN DISRUPTION comes from people’s lives and behaviour, meaning that managers have to be
interested in ordinary people’ lives, even in parts not directly related to business.
• The weak signals of behavioural changes are not systematic or linear numbers on a spreadsheet.
• The weaker the signal is, the more meaning and power it tends to have.
• You must allow doubt and wondering in order to see things happening you did not expect or predict.
• Managers have to stop traditional forecasting since one of the core dynamics of behavioural change among
people is counter-reactions to what is or just was.
• Companies must start spending time and energy on understanding the world, people, and the presence we are
all part of. They need to do so because it is essential to their success and survival.
The larger the company is,
the further away the company tends to be
from the world people live in
Change cannot be forecasted in a linear way.
Counter reaction is the basis of change and will change
the direction of change.
CHANGE COMES FROM COUNTER-REACTIONS
• It is of outmost importance to be aware of the fact that behavioural change is often a counter-reaction to what is
perceived as dominant or normal behaviour.
• What we do today is based on what we did yesterday, and it forms the basis for what we do tomorrow. Significant
counter-reactions become dominant and normal behaviour and is the major driver of behavioural change.
Antropologist Mary Douglas
”After decorated comes plain”
A major rice manufacturer in the Saudi region,
historically selling large volumes of rice (10 kg bags)
The structure of everyday life
People are increasingly
inspired by other parts of
the world, e.g. meaning
that they start eating
different kinds of food
Prefabricated foods are becoming
available and perceived highly
Women start driving cars
Families cooking less due to new
fast foods appearing
Women start getting
Women begin to work
People stop building their
People start to rent smaller
more efficient homes
• People are likely to eat less plain rice since they eat
a lot of other things and spend less time cooking at
• Potential drop in sales volumes unless you manage
to do something else.
• opportunity to create new kinds and brands of rice
made to fit different kinds of foods and be prepared
in different ways. Thus, the price of a kilo of rice
could be bumped up since it is no longer plain rice
in 10 kg bags which are preferred, but potentially
processed, ready to eat, or premium rice in other
sizes, looks, and packages
We sat out to create an approach that:
• Mirrors reality in all its complexity
• That detects what will become dominating behaviour and therefore commercially
• That is immediately operational for companies to act upon
• That is transparent to all involved and potentially for companies to apply
• Finds and understands patterns in behavioural changes.
• Central to pick up patterns and weak signals for future success.
It provides a framework to proactively seek, model and act on leading indicators, often-
termed “weak” signals, that form patterns in the marketplace and to exploit them for
PATTERN BASED FORECASTING
Unique philosophy and a sociologically inspired method
SOMETHING EVERYBODY CAN DO
• We look at and listen systematically to people related to the case, market, or industry we work
• We walk the streets, we talk to people, we look at people, we listen to people, we observe people
in their lives, we search the social media, the internet, we listen to the music played and see the
• We favour actual behaviour over presumptions
• We favour actual behaviour over psychologists’ interpretations
• We favour action over opinion
• And we insist on what people do have face value.’
• We help companies to see and understand the weak signals, which are likely to impact them.
VARIOUS PURPOSES AND GAINS
change in the
signs of change for
3 BASIC STEPS
1. Collect signs of change
2. Identify patterns of change
3. Identify business implications
1. Collect signs of change
Collect signs of change
Where to look for signs of change?
A sign is a behavioural change that
makes you wonder
Please allow people to collect signs
broadly outside your own market
How much time do you need to collect signs of
You don’t need a lot of time – the signs
are out there – keep momentum
How many signs do we need? At this point quantity is king!
Who should look for signs?
Everybody. Best signs often some from
people you would not expect them from
How to make sense of the signs?
At this point dont. Refrain from giving
meaning to the signs
2. Identify patterns of change
Signs of change session
Discuss and understand the signs
Huge boards and lots of post-it
Ask yourself: What is this a sign of?
What about local and global signs?
Be aware of the fact that we live local
and global lives
Put signs together which are signs of the
same/similar. Title pattern
What is a pattern?
A pattern is a number of signs of pointing
in the same direction
Connect the patterns
Discuss how the patterns are connec-ted
to identify the overall direction
Illustration: Signs – patterns - direction
1,5 years wait
People seeking to become winners in a
competitive environment and show success to
approach to childrenFront stage food
3. Identify business implications
What is the essence of the patterns?
What could our response be to these changes?
What does it potentially mean to you?
Extensive or simple, short- or long-term.
There is rarely one answer only.
Are there patterns, which call for immediate
Potential Soft Disruption or huge
Look up and out and stop looking to the sides
Change is likely to come from an
Stay sharp - don’t get blinded by change
Hold on to DNA/essence of company
when deciding what would be right for
your company to do.
Be ready to make subjective and bold
On a highly qualified and solid foundation
• HIDDEN DISRUPTION is the result of changing behaviour among people
• It will impact businesses throughout the world and throughout industries
• It is possible to detect and understand the weak signals and patterns of
changing behaviour, which will enable you to act upon these changes in time
and become a winner and not a victim of these changes.
• Working with signs of change and understand the patterns they form and the
interrelated direction will make you love change and dare to look at change in
all its complexity and uncertainty and allow wondering without fear.