Disruptive or Disruption!

Life is about choices, most made in childhood when influenced by both bad and good.

Behaviour, attitudes, responses, some guarded. some welcoming, others disregarded as worthless.

A balanced view was normally advocated, don’t rock the boat, don’t get into deep water, stop digging when in a hole, all modifying our natural responses born out of attitudes.

How things have changed, being considered disruptive is viewed by some as a positive attribute, challenging convention, don’t be afraid to speak your mind, it will no longer get you into trouble!!!

The truth is we must be disruptive, not so much in learning situations where order is essential, but in our society, where challenging the status quo is the only way to improve our lives, to bring about progress.

Disruptive innovation was a term coined in the 1990’s to described innovation that was outside the normal Sustaining model, one where it did not significantly affect existing markets.

It could be considered to be either Evolutionary – serving to improve a product in an existing market or Revolutionary – an innovation that is unexpected, but does not affect such markets.

Disruptive innovation or technology is one that creates a new market by providing a different set of values, which ultimately and unexpectedly overtakes an existing market, be it lower prices, affordability, or displaces existing solutions.

Such innovation tend to be produced by outsiders and entrepreneurs in startups, rather than existing market-leading companies, not shackled by convention, or profit, but often for the good of mankind.

The business environment of market leaders does not allow them to pursue disruptive innovations when they first arise, because they are not profitable enough at first, and because their development can take scarce resources away from sustaining innovation which are needed to compete against current competition.

A disruptive process can take longer to develop than by the conventional approach and the risks associated to it higher than the other more incremental and evolutionary form of innovation, but once deployed in the market it achieves a much faster penetration and higher degree of impact on the established markets.

This being the case how can the entrepreneur, the startup, the inventor from outside the industry ever get heard if it takes longer, cost more and carries higher risk, who will take that on board?

How do we change and move away from traditional approaches, those vested in large companies averse to change, unwilling to risk their current position of strength for a potential one of failure?

What hope do we have for improving our future when disruptive thinking is seen as a challenge to convention?

I hear the attributes Tenacity, Resilience and Effort often banded about, but not Disruption!