Innovation. Progress. Activism. Shifting trends. Natural disasters. Economic and social unrest. Cyberattacks. Whatever you call it, disruption of any kind can be the rebirth or death of any company.

Some disruptions occur with warning signs of volacanic activity represents disruptionits impending arrival. Executives who are attuned to their industry and the conditions of the global market can hear those prequake tremors. But sometimes those underground rumblings can be too scary – forcing these leaders to close their eyes and deny they even heard it in the first place.

And there are disruptions that appear as quickly and ferociously as the Big Bang. It catches everyone by surprise, and its impact can be heard and felt everywhere. It can even decimate entire industries and force survivors to pick up the pieces and start over.

Some say that the real trick to surviving these events is to avoid disruption altogether. But as we have seen in the last 15 years, turning a deaf ear from these changes can be just as deadly. In fact, 26 percent of the top 50 companies on the Fortune 500 list in 2003 were no longer there 10 years later. This didn’t happen because their products and services were not exceptional – they just didn’t move with the times and got left behind.

So maybe the best way to survive a disruption is to find a way to take advantage of it before it swallows your business whole. But before you dive in and tackle every disruption that comes your way, know what your organization is prepared to take them on.

Is your workforce capable of handling tomorrow’s disruptions right now?

According to “Meeting the Challenge of Disruptive Change”in Harvard Business Review (HBR), Clayton Christensen and Michael Overdorf reported that there are three factors that affect what a company can and cannot do when it comes to taking on disruptions:

1) Resources

What can my organization do? When asking yourself this question, you are most likely looking at your people, equipment, technologies, and cash flow. Sure, you can secure additional capital and use corporate learning and recruiting to close skill gaps. But that is only part of the story. What about your product designs, intellectual property, brand image, business network partnerships, and customers? Do they restrict responsive change, force you to innovate prematurely, or move along with you?

2) Processes

When people use a process to do the job it was designed for, it’s efficient. But when the same process is used to tackle a very different task, it most likely performs sluggishly and creates redundancies and disconnects. According to Christensen and Overdorf, “The most important capabilities and concurrent disabilities aren’t necessarily embodied in the most visible processes, like logistics, development, manufacturing, or customer service. In fact, they are more likely to be in the less visible, background processes that support decisions about where to invest resources – those that define how market research is habitually done, how such analysis is translated into financial projections, how plans and budgets are negotiated internally, and so on.” And it’s these processes that can threaten your ability to take full advantage of a game-changing disruption – exposing a disability that can keep your operations from running efficiently and at the lowest possible cost.

3) Values

Every company has their own unique value and mission statements. But there are two values that are consistent across the board: what is deemed as a comfortable gross margin and how big should opportunities be to be interesting to stakeholders. It’s these two values that carry the most weight when determining whether the organization can successfully choose the best disruptions to address and tackle them head on. And as the company grows, so do the values – margins that were once thought as acceptable are no longer desirable and those “smaller” opportunities that excited everyone are now thought as nuisances and temporary background noise.

If a disruption matches the same requirements that your resources, processes, and values are already set up to address, seizing competitive advantage is fairly straightforward. The trouble comes when the change forces a fundamental shift in operations and culture. In his book The Innovator’s Dilemma, Clayton Christensen noted that some companies are good at responding to evolutionary changes in their markets, but “where they run into trouble is in handling or initiating revolutionary changes in their markets, or dealing with disruptive innovation.” But don’t despair when this happens – there’s a way. Learn how to map your organization’s readiness and seize disruptions of all kinds and sizes by checking out the HBR article, “Meeting the Challenge of Disruptive Change.”