Camera makers at all levels are under severe pressure to handle large-scale disruptions taking place in their industry. The greater worry seems to be the speed and variety in which these disruptions appear. Some firms such as Kodak (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-16967171) have been forced to exit the industry, which they were synonymous with, while current leaders such as Sony, Canon and Nikon are all strategizing constantly to both survive and thrive. Emergent strategy as suggested by Professor Henry Mintzberg seems to be the way forward for these firms.
While discussing their case in a recent session on strategy – we happened to look at the industry changes and how these companies can respond to growth challenges. Interestingly when we completed the discussions we were left with a lot of strategic possibilities (blue oceans) and potential innovations around business models, products, markets and services. While many of those remain possibilities – the group seemed to agree on two common things applicable to all players in the industry:
Common Strength: Technology
Common Enemy: Smartphones
In today’s world, convergence is not a trend you can ignore. What needs to be assessed is only to what extent and in what measure? But the big question is: how will camera makers compete ‘using technology’ amongst themselves and defend ‘against smartphones’ together? The Camera industry is going to see tremendous changes. Will entrepreneurial strategy making skills come in handy for these firms? Are there lessons they can learn from entrepreneurs who find opportunities in such changes? Wild idea? Don’t think so!