The concept of disruption in management has been applied to innovation before. A disruptive innovation is a technology, process or business model that introduces a much more affordable product or service (that is also much simpler to use) into a market.
‘It enables more consumers in that market to afford and/or have the skill to use the product or service. The change caused by such an innovation is so big that it eventually replaces, or disrupts, the established approach to providing that product or service’
Clayton Christensen, author of The Innovator’s Dilemma and The Innovator’s Solution, created disruptive Innovation as a concept.
All very well, but before looking for the big product disruptors with the potential to disrupt and create entire markets, disruption, like charity, needs to start ‘at home’.
Before creating the equivalent of cloud computing, and the new wearables, and driverless vehicles, here is the challenge: what are the small disruptions that you can implement tomorrow in your thinking, in your teams, in your environment?
Here is a guide on what to look for, my definition of Disruptive ideas:
Disruptive [management] ideas are those that have the capacity to create significant impact on the organisation by challenging standard management practices. They share the following characteristics:
- They are simple.
- There is a total disproportion between their simplicity and their potential to impact on and transform the life of organisations.
- They can be implemented now.
- You can implement them at little or no cost.
- They are most likely to be contrarian.
- They are also most likely to be counterintuitive.
- They pose a high risk of being trivialised or dismissed.
- They can spread virally within the organisation very easily.
You only need a few disruptive ideas to create big transformation without the need for a Big Change Management Programme. The impact of a combination of a few is just like dynamite.
This is what I said in the book: Disruptive ideas ‘provide management alternatives that, if spread, can completely transform the way the organisation works without the need to execute a massive ‘change management programme’. Each of them, in its own right, has the potential to create significant change. The compound benefit of a few of them is a real engine of change and business transformation.’
So here we are, disruptive ideas transcend innovation or technology and go back to the fundamental roots of day-to-day management in any kind of organisation, challenging conventional wisdom.
I wrote the book with some suggestions, but there is a much better way. What about this disruptive idea? Ask your team for disruptive ideas, brainstorm, get crazy, retreat, have more. See what impact they may have. Try hard to kill them. See the resistance, if any.
So if somebody says, for example, no meetings for a whole week, does this meet the criteria? If so, what would be the benefits? Why would this be crazy? What may the organization look like?
If you get into the habit, you won’t stop. I don’t believe in ‘disruption’ for the sake of it, but I know that not doing exercise will get you into trouble. The exercise is the relentless questioning: what if we did?
And this is very healthy. Disruptively healthy.