FAST-Hacks for Disruptive Strategies

August 2nd, 2017 | By

FAST-Hacks for Disruptive Strategies

FAST-Hacks for Disruptive Strategies

When Amazon decided to acquire Wholefoods and plunge into bricks and mortar food retail…

When Netflix decided to invest billions in becoming a content creator instead of just a distributor…

When McDonald’s Australia launched McCafe in a world first…

When Starbucks moved from coffee wholesaler to retailer…

When IBM moved from mainframes to services…

When Xero went cloud and bank feeds against MYOB…

When Apple launched iTunes and then Apple Music to move from making gizmos to distributing content…

When GP2U took online docs into your home…

When Airbnb did a deal with Flight Centre to have them book rooms…

Not only might you wish you could make or predict big moves like above with the regularity of a strategic maestro, you might also wish you had the conviction to implement them.

A common misconception about being strategic is that there are those that are and those that aren’t. Another myth about ‘being strategic’ is that it takes hours of time set aside for thinking and planning.

You can dramatically improve your street-cred in strategy and corporate innovation within your organisation just by regularly using a few FAST-hacks to drive disruptive innovation. Before long you are viewing companies, markets and competition through these lenses and you can generate your insights quickly and on the fly. In fact, that bit is easy. (don’t tell anyone but these amazing feats are achieved without the use of coloured post-it notes adorning walls)

Here are the F.A.S.T. Hacks


Make a list of the major prevailing norms and assumptions in your industry or company. Then flip them to an opposite.

you go to the video store to rent a movie
you watch one or two movies a week
you watch your favourite TV shows at the allocated time each night/week
you would rather search and choose your next movie than have them suggested to you
you pay per view, more views more pay
DVD distributors don’t create content

Enter Netflix who flipped them all


Adopt a disruption trend. The change coming at us can be overwhelming. Trying to stay ahead of all the tech developments and the shifting sands of current market landscapes seems impossible. Much better to map the shifts through the main streams of change. These are not only identifiable, they are much more predictable.

Here are some of the big ones

  • On demand and for me (aka the 2 year old trend)
    • How can you tailor what you do for the customer, exactly how they want it and deliver it back to them immediately?
  • Sharing and collaboration economy
    • Ask yourself how you can tap into people power – Amazon recently tested its Amazon Pick-up in the US with their own employees
    • What assets don’t you own that you might want to tap into (ala Uber and Airbnb)
    • How can you engage and empower a crowd, your tribe?
      • Open innovation, crowd funding, tribes towards common goals
  • Subscription models – unlimited usage for a monthly fee
    • Just like music, computer software, TV, movies, air-travel, website maintenance, APPS
  • Marketplaces – you are the third party
    • is there a way you can bring buyers and sellers, teachers and learners, experts and novices, owners and renters together on your platform and terms for a win/win


Identify a business model in operation from another industry (cheat sheet here) and then swap yours with theirs – that’ll give you some ideas.

To identify a business model you work out (A) the income generating ASSET and (B) the income generating activity. The business model is their combination (same cheat sheet) written ASSET: activity

Here is an example of a swap from my book, Xcelerate



What are the known problems in your industry, with your product, for customers? Now which ones will save the lives? Well maybe not lives but the most frustration, friction and failure at least. Deliberately focus more on the service aspects than the product.

  • One of the biggest frustrations when getting a Taxi was knowing when they would arrive (enter Uber)
  • One of the biggest frictions in banking is waiting on the phone to be served (enter an array of FinTech startups)
  • One of the biggest failures in buying online is getting the right size (enter Amazon Prime Wardrobe)

Flip , Adopt, Swap, Triage are the F.A.S.T. Hacks

Being strategic is not just about ideas. These F.A.S.T. hacks will generate ideas quickly and you’ll think much more strategically. But that street-cred you generate must be backed by implementation and launch of some of your best thinking for corporate innovation.

Go gettem.

Disruption – Something you should be doing, not something that is being done to you

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