Do you really want disruption or to be disruptive?

Let’s be disruptive. Let’s disrupt our industry. Let’s disrupt our company. Let’s disrupt the game. Disruption is still cool, while “innovation” term has lost its lackluster. Last year I wrote a post “Don’t be ‘innovative’, be disruptive” and I only told half the story. Throughout this post I’m going to reference people or person but reality is that organizations, teams, governments, technology, etc. can be interchanged for people.

Guess what, most people that say they want to be disruptive or want their industry disrupted are lying. After all why would they? They themselves have worked hard to be where they are and “earned” their spot. Who wants this taken away by the new, shiny person?  Who wants to be the person that stands up and makes the decision that is against the norm and puts his/her head on the line.

Then, there are the people that want to be the disruptors, at least for a while. After all, most disruptors eventually become legacy that is prone to disruption.  That is most disruptors become the disruptable. But for the true few disruptors that keep momentum going, kudos to you because you are the few that dramatically change the world.

So why am I writing this? Well it is cool for each of us to be disruptors but there needs to be honesty around being a disruptor. Disruptors are in opposition of the disruptable majority. Disruptors are despised by jealousy and fears of the disruptables. Disruptors are going to face significant resources of the disruptables like money, reputation, and connections.  So, either find a culture or disruptive mission that is in an area that is receptive of disruption.

Now I ask you, do you still want to be disruptive? Are you positioned well to be disruptive and are you ready for the fallout that happens when others are not?  Are you disrupting to make a positive difference in the world? Hope you answer yes to these and can effect positive disruptive change.  Maybe we will speak of you like we speak of the computer above and how it has changed our world. While messy at first, in the end we are all better off for the disruptors and their disruptsion.

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Don’t be “innovative”, be disruptive

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Talking about being innovative doesn’t make you innovative. So many people and companies today talk about being innovative and disrupting things. Guess what – most of it is just talk. When push comes to shove true disruptive innovation is tough and attempts often fail. On the other hand iterative product development is easy and comfortable and easy for executives to pat themselves on the back.

There are four key aspects in my book to be disruptive:

  1. Think different: you can’t think the way everyone else does and be disruptive — ask the tough questions be the contrarian.
  2. Stay nimble: you must keep my mind and skills nimble — don’t get bogged down in one industry, one skill set or even one geography.
  3. Think big: never let something seem to great — everything must be on the table.
  4. Act, act, act: there is nothing like acting — you will certainly make mistakes but the biggest the proverbial line is failing to act is guaranteeing failure.

These things along won’t make you disruptive but put you in a better position to be disruptive. Take the opportunity to be disruptive. It does not have to be at your company if it is not supportive and it probably isn’t. There are tons of tough problems the world faces but it is easier than ever to make big impacts with software, analytics, IoT, and much more.

Find out about disruptive innovation at:
-Clayton Christensen’s Site: http://www.claytonchristensen.com/key-concepts/
-HBR: https://hbr.org/topic/disruptive-innovation

About WorkLearnPlay: WorkLearnPlay.com is about helping information workers live better lives and supercharge their success in the workplace. Please let me know how I can continue to make this site better and help you and others supercharge your success.

photo credit: Bitcasa at TechCrunch Disrupt 2011 San Francisco via photopin (license)