The sharp fall in the fortunes of department store group Debenhams is the latest tale in an endless list of companies that fail to address in time the ever-increasing challenge of disruption.

But while high street operators are caught in the maelstrom created by online retailers, you can relate the experience of companies in this space to that of corporates in most other sectors.

Although the waves of disruption come at different forms, and at different speeds, the outcome is usually the same when a business cannot innovate fast quickly, or move into a new space where it can create value.

The onus is on management teams to develop an awareness of what is happening around them- that can only happen if at board level and below it looks at the world through a diverse lens, achieved by hiring different kinds of people, to understand what is happening in consumer behaviour and the dynamics underpinning it.

Directors must also apply the best analytical skills technology can offer, to pivot their organisations into new value creating markets, that are then defined in an adaptive business model.

Next month’s Financial Director Women in Finance breakfast summit will discuss how companies need to develop diversity to survive and prosper in the volatile and uncertain business environment.

It will be followed by events that bring closer the diversity and technology elements to future-proof organisations, and make them fit for purpose in the fourth industrial age.