When our lives are disrupted, it feels uncomfortable. And it's not necessarily viewed as a positive. We may recall in our school days, when a teacher scolded a student for being “disruptive” in class, the connotation wasn't positive. Penalties typically ensued.
In today's business world, disruption is embraced and celebrated. The Netflix case study has been written about endlessly, serving as the poster child for disruption. In fact, companies passionately talk about how they need disruptors on their team, and encourage others to challenge how things are being done at every step of the process.
Being disruptive for the sake of being disruptive is not a good thing. Little Johnny shouldn't get patted on the back for disturbing the diligent work of everyone else in class. But disruption for the betterment of everyone is a just cause, and should be the impetus for positive change.
So, if you can find a way to do something 10 times better than the status quo, then be as disruptive as you possibly can. Just consider the following tips when doing so:
- Determine the who rather than the what. Disrupting a process to make it more efficient is fine, but we must always consider who will benefit. If the company benefits, but the clients do not, keep searching for a way that serves all stakeholders.
- All aboard. The entire organization must be in lock-step for change to take place. This cannot be some sort of “behind-the-scenes” deal, because resistance will happen and the pace of positive change will slow.
- Change comes from the outside. When a baseball team fails to win, the manager gets fired. Oftentimes, to make impactful changes, a replacement is hired from outside the organization, as opposed to recycling an internal coach. The moral to the story is that we always must seek outside perspectives, and push aside our biases and preconceived notions of how things are or should be.
Disruption may be getting a lot of buzz these days, but changing for positive impact is not quite as colorful. It takes grit, collaboration and an unrelenting customer-oriented mindset. In other words, true disruptors have the best interests of others in mind and are willing to work hard for a greater purpose.
Source for the ANA study: http://disruption.ana.net