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Dealing with Disruption


As our political, economic, technological, and social foundations are being disrupted in ways and at speeds never before imagined, we are continuously challenged in how we conduct both our personal and professional lives: how we interact and connect with one another, how we work and conduct business, and, as turnaround professionals, how we turn around businesses. We are on the cusp of the so-called Fourth Industrial Revolution that will usher in a new era that will transform our lives in unprecedented scope, complexity, and speed, outpacing all prior industrial revolutions. No aspect of our lives will be immune from these disruptions.

Disruption, whether to an industry, market, and/or technology can be simultaneously creative and destructive and also fascinating and frightening. Online retail, blockchain, the internet of things (IOT), artificial intelligence (AI), electric cars, driverless vehicles, and pilotless airplanes—each of these innovations will create disruptions that will give rise to new companies while challenging existing businesses to transform to remain relevant. No industry will be unaffected. Some companies will successfully navigate the disruptions and transform; others will fail. In this dynamic environment, TMA members should be positioned to provide valuable assistance to companies on both ends of that spectrum.

The 2017 TMA Annual in Fort Worth, Texas, October 23-25 is focused on “Disruption and Its Ripple Effect.” How apropos that this year’s conference is held in a state that has recently been materially impacted by significant economic disruption, the ripple effects of which continue to reverberate through many aspects of its economy.

Niloofar Razi Howe, chief strategy officer at RSA and keynote speaker at the TMA Western Regional Conference in July, spoke of the need for organizations to confront status quo bias. TMA does just that, continuously looking at new ways to provide its members with enhanced membership value.

This year’s Annual, for example, is more forward-focused, exploring current and looming disruptions in various industries, with special insights and foresight provided by industry leaders who are directly challenged with confronting these disruptions head-on. 

TMA is also committed to supporting innovative networking and professional development programs at the chapter level. Each year, TMA’s Chapter Resource and Response Committee (CRRC) provides grants to assist chapters in putting together innovative programming and events to encourage membership growth. As a former CRRC chair, I have seen first-hand how this additional funding stimulates novel networking and professional development programming. I encourage chapters to apply for these CRRC grants.

TMA has also developed new chapter data reports that provide North American chapters with detailed metrics about their members and events, and how these compare to other chapters of similar size. The reports enable chapters to, among other things, develop more targeted programming and events for existing and new members.

How our members connect with each other has fundamentally changed. Networking now involves various facets of social media and digital tools. TMA is committed to ensuring that our digital platform transforms to meet our members’ needs and expectations. For example, TMA recently launched TMAConnect, which offers peer-to-peer networking introductions for each user based on their answers to a series of simple questions.

In addition, the TMA website and the digital version of the Journal of Corporate Renewal have undergone recent improvements to bring about added functionality for our members. The updated JCR mobile app features more user-friendly functionality for those who read the magazine on their phones or tablets. All articles, graphics, and photos flow into an easily readable format—no more pinching or zooming is required. If you have not already downloaded the JCR app, I encourage you to do so by searching for "Journal of Corporate Renewal" in your provider’s app store. Lastly, TMA is reviewing ways to enhance the functionality of our online membership directory so that it can be more effectively utilized as a resource by our members and their potential clients.

For every disruption there are challenges, but also opportunity. TMA is committed to helping you find those opportunities.

I look forward to seeing you at The Annual.

Milly Chow, 2017 TMA Global President

Milly Chow

Blakes Cassels & Graydon LLP

Milly Chow is a partner with Blakes Cassels & Graydon LLP in Toronto and served as the 2017 TMA Global President and 2018 TMA Global Chair.

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