Disruptive Innovation – Be Warned
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Disruptive Innovation – Be Warned

Disrupt or be disrupted. The world is black and white when it comes to successful innovation. It’s the force that drives man’s progress. How does it happen? An individual or group is bold enough to think that a problem they see in the world can be solved thinking or doing things differently.

These innovators, if successful, grow up to be the big incumbents we see in the world. Apple, Facebook, Microsoft and Google are good examples. Ironically, a consequence of success is these organisations move away from the disruptive force that gave them their success in the first place. The Fortune 500 is a forever churning list of companies that found success, got too big, failed to evolve and innovate and died.

The challenge for organisations across both the public and private sector is with size, comes a loss of agility and subsequently a loss of their disruptive force. There has been plenty of literature written about the woes of bureaucracy and size but size itself is not the enemy. It’s the failure to establish processes and business units whose focus is on disruption, on remaining agile and dragging the ‘mothership’ in the right direction.

Better to have a disruptive force you own, kill off your billion dollar business than the one you never saw coming. Organisations need to understand that the resources that come with size and scale need to be invested into understanding the future, into creating the future and owning their future.

Organisations won’t get there by hiring an army of consultants, holding endless engagement and strategy planning sessions. They’ll get there by remembering the power of a few, agile, liberated people who have the mandate to disrupt the future. They’ll do it by embedding this thinking into their teams and people, helping them understand that in the 21st Century resting on your laurels is not an option. Re-invention and re-discovery is promoted: Moore’s Law applies to everything.

Technology is a force that is not going away. It is driving change at a rate none of us can truly appreciate. It’s not OK to run from technology and more importantly believe you don’t need to understand it. It is only through understanding this force for change that you as a leader, employee, innovator and citizen can harness it’s power.

For any successful enterprise or group out there, hedge your bets, develop your options and invest in disruptive innovation that takes aim at your current thinking and processes. If you don’t do it, someone you don’t know, someone smarter, more nimble, agile and disruptive will, and you’ll meet them when it’s too late. Your organisation will end-up withering away or you’ll be faced with a large acquisition cost, spending too much to buy-in innovation you could have created yourself.

To find out more about the power of disruption and technology and how you can harness it by contacting: Emarise.com (Middle East) or start54.com (Australasia)

Written by Tim Hatherley-Greene – @timhgreen. Director and thought-leader at Emarise.com and start54.com