Throughout the school year a university in Mexico, Cetys, invited experts from outside to come to campus and talk about different topics to its students. I was invited to talk about disruptive innovation, but the COVID-19 virus changed that and classes and all other activities were cancelled.
Just a few hours before sitting down to write this post I was in a meeting were a group of people pitched themselves as disruptive, they aren’t, but people on the other end of the table soaked it all in. Why? One, the misconception and another is disruption is good PR, there isn’t a day that goes by where some new upstart describes itself or is described as disruptive.
What is disruption? Many believe that disruption is innovation. Truth is, what many believe to be disruptive really isn’t. First of all, nobody deliberately sets out to be disruptive; it happens after the fact.
To bring some clarity to the subject, Marc Andreessen wrote up a tweetstorm where he explains Clayton Christensen’s disruptive innovation theory in 15 tweets:…
Throughout this past year, I’ve been having conversations with innovation leaders from a couple of BIG companies about re-inventing their innovation capability. The pattern of conversation: we’ve had a good run, but feel that our process for making innovation happen is delivering incremental results. Bureaucracy has developed, and so we aren’t taking a lot of risks anymore. How do we shake ourselves out of it?
This is a classic situation of the initial innovation enthusiasm becoming stagnant because innovation’s main killers are not kept at bay: GroupThink and ExpertThink.
One leads to consensus, and the other to unchallenged best practices. In combination both lead to stagnation. Later on, it will become more difficult to innovate because silence and fear will become the norm. Then you will really have a challenge in your hands!…
Theories of success intrigue us because they provide a shortcut. But in following the herd, we deprive ourselves from developing and expressing our originality.
A few weeks ago I wrote about how people and businesses aren’t really obsessed with disruption per se, rather they are in love with theories of success. Silver bullet ideas that you can use to shortcut your way to “success”, theories that become hardened after “supposedly” observing them in the environment.
If you disrupt and can’t sustain, you don’t win. – Gary Pisano
Disruptive innovations that throw industries into chaos hog the spotlight. We are all transfixed by Google’s Moonshot attempts at either changing transportation, how we interact with objects and people that we believe those are the only innovations that matter.
Academics and consultants like coming up with fancy ways of describing certain types of behaviors and outcomes, and when it comes to innovation incremental and radical are such they use to describe and compare between small plain-vanilla innovation and radical or disruptive innovation.…