Disruption the new nirvana

disruptive innovation compass

A new leader, here in Australia, has brought us not only more women in Cabinet but exposure to new business vocabulary and paradigm. Suddenly ‘disruption’ is the new black and a desired state of being that businesses shoudl accept and prepare for.

Disruption defined

Malcolm  Turnbull assures us that ‘disruption … is our friend’ and we must ’embrace the disruptive environment’. Well what does this all mean and more importantly, ‘what is disruption’? The Sydney Morning Herald (see link) rightly asked and answered this question.  They went further than just providing a description of ‘disruption’ by identifying opportunities for Australian businesses and highlighting some concerns about the impact that some disruptive business models might have on the Australian economy.

Theory of ‘disruptive innovation’ creates new markets and customers

The term disruption is often associated with innovation and reframed as ‘disruptive innovation’. Clayton Christensen, of Harvard Business School coined the term and theory in his book “The Innovator’s Dilemma”. In his use of the term he describes ‘disruptive innovation’ as any innovations that create new markets by discovering new categories of customers.

Implications on businesses of ‘disruptive innovation’

I would go one further and ask

 “what does disruption mean for us in our working lives and for our business?”

Implicit in disruption is innovation – the challenge for all businesses and their staff is to build a culture of innovation from which disruptive innovation may emerge.

10 tips on how to build a culture of innovation in your business

How do we drive innovation and change in our businesses? Here are some ideas for your consideration

  1. Set the tone and leadership for risk taking and acceptance of failure at senior management;
  2. Senior management need to define the type of innovation being sought, establish metrics and measures of success and have on their business agendas;
  3. Management must establish and support staff by providing ‘freedom’ or space to investigate and develop new opportunities – individually and as teams;
  4. Empower and establish small teams to develop and support new ideas;
  5. Encourage the development of innovation networks within your organisation and/or extending beyond your boundaries;
  6. Support and encourage ‘trialling’ of new ideas and communicate the outcomes to all;
  7. Understand and be realistic about your appetite for risk and investment in ‘innovation’;
  8. Identify and invite others from your sector to share and showcase their innovations/journey to make it real and achievable;
  9. Provide reward and recognition for ‘wins’ as part of the journey;
  10. Develop networks of support

On paper, these steps sound simple but research demonstrates that leaders are often disappointed in their capacity to stimulate the spirit and drive for innovation in their business. To translate intention to outcomes.

Please contact me if you want to implement these 10 steps might in your business.

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