If your company is already well established and has smart management, it is likely that it will become a hybrid in the next ten years, blending its legacy business with a new business model that is rising to threaten it, Bloomberg reports. Take Walmart, for example. After suffering several years of Amazon’s online hegemony, Walmart responded with a hybrid approach. Merchandise ordered online can now be drop-shipped for same-day pickup at local stores. This and other creative solutions have driven over $9 billion of online sales to Walmart. (It’s no surprise that Amazon — which has no physical stores — has mirrored the move from the other direction, installing lockers in neighborhood stores to allow for direct pickup.) … To understand how strategic logic leads readily to such hybrids, consider the results of a recent war game I helped to stage, in which participants sought winning strategies in one fast-changing sector: the US higher education market. Teams playing the roles of traditional large state and non-profit colleges confronted other teams representing the new Massively Open Online Course (MOOCs) and distance learning enterprises, such as Coursera and The University of Phoenix. At first the teams circled each other in the plenary session, each declaring its position and revealing strengths and weaknesses. It soon became clear to the teams and to the observers in the room that neither the online nor the traditional college “education delivery” model alone could prevail.
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