Probably we will not go back to the telegraph, but when everything is ‘innovatively disrupted’, where will we go?
At least in one area, close to my heart, we will perhaps go backwards: the book. I am talking about that thing with physical pages made of that thing called paper that you could actually hold in your hands and it makes you think, or smile.
The death of the physical book has been announced for years under the conquest by e-books, digital reading, small screens, well, all things digital.
Bookstores are not making money and book chains such as Borders Books have disappeared. Always the example quoted. In the UK, Waterstones and others closed many bookstores. Death, death.
Until Nielsen (‘information and measurement company’) announces that, actually, books sales have gone up. Up!? Suddenly book chains like Waterstones make profit. Interestingly, and I don’t know how significant this is, a reviewer says that ‘it seems one of the contributing factors to the increase in book sales are books authored by “YouTube Stars” where they have used YouTube as a channel to market their published hardcopy book’. Children’s books have also increased their sales. So, has the death of the book been grossly exaggerated? I hope so!
For book lovers like myself this is good news. Beyond the unmatchable pleasure of having a physical book in my hands, preferable if their pages smell (old books talk to me via my nostrils as much as my eyes), I think physical books are companions of a high league, distant by miles from screens of all sizes.
But beyond these taste considerations it is the broader issue of whether all predictions of ‘disruptive innovation’ have to be taken both as inevitable and at face value.
For me, Backwards Disruptive Innovation (trademark pending, I may apply for this…) means to rewind life a bit, once the whole thing has been going forward at full steam. In this category I have the above-mentioned ‘books’, once all has been digitalised; the face-to-face conversation, once all has been compressed into 280 characters and the physical letter in the post, once all has been emailed, from congratulations, to ‘I love you’, to ‘you are fired’.
My favourite Backwards Disruptive Innovation, though, is silence. I am trying to get funding to bottle silence. The market is infinite.
For 30 disruptive ideas that can be implemented at any time and at almost no cost – check out my book:
DISRUPTIVE IDEAS – 10+10+10=1000 THE MATHS OF VIRAL CHANGE THAT TRANSFORMS ORGANIZATIONS
In a time when organizations simultaneously run multiple corporate initiatives and large change programmes, Disruptive Ideas tells us that – contrary to the collective mindset that says that big problems need big solutions – all you need is a small set of powerful rules to create big impact. In this book, the author suggests a menu of 10 ‘structures’, 10 ‘processes’ and 10 ‘behaviours’ that have the power to transform an organisation. These 30 disruptive ideas can be implemented at any time and at almost no cost; and what’s more…you don’t even need them all. But their compound effect – the 10+10+10 maths – will be more powerful than vast corporate programmes with dozens of objectives and efficiency targets…