Disruptive is quite a good word. A word that actually sounds similar to what it means. Not quite like rupture, which is usually bad news. Disruptive is better. Any idea what it really means? Well, the verb disrupt means: to interrupt the normal flow of business, to prevent something from being able to follow its normal course.
Disruptive is an adjective. You might use it when talking to a road worker in the following scenario for example: “Look Mr Road Worker, I always come this way, but apparently I can’t today because you’re busy digging up the pavement. Which I happen to find quite disruptive. So, next time dear road worker, could you perhaps place a warning sign stating: “DISRUPTIVE ACTIVITIES AHEAD! PLEASE TAKE ANOTHER ROUTE AND DON’T DISRUPT THE ROAD WORKER IN HIS NORMAL LINE OF WORK”
Real disruption though, that’s something else entirely. Real disruption transcends the ordinary. For me, it also implies that ‘normal’ no longer exists. It’s not simply a case of: “So guys, whilst we were doing some lovely disrupting today, tomorrow it’s business as usual”.
Nope, business as usual is no more. Disruptive transcends normal for good. When something Disruptive happens, it’s a JFK moment, a Twin Towers moment. Remember where you were when you heard about the Twin Towers? Now you’re coming close to how disruptive really feels. It caught you totally unaware, didn’t it? But no-one could have been prepared. It takes everyone by surprise. Recently received a devastating diagnosis? Now that’s disruption for you, pure disruption. Normal no longer exists.
Slightly troublesome disruptions
Disruption implies something negative. Something is unwillingly forced to change. That’s disruption. Taking you totally by surprise. But why? Were you dozing off? Couldn’t you have anticipated it? After all, you knew you couldn’t go on working with a pen and paper forever? You knew that the new new is often better than the old, right? Wake up, it’s 2016.
No, you never really expect it. Most people don’t. Something suddenly happens, sending shivers down your spine. Wow, I didn’t see that one coming! I didn’t expect our children to be smarter, faster, more agile and independent than we were at that age. Wake up, 2016.. Wow, I thought that I could just make do with my iPhone 4. It still works perfectly well. I can make phone calls, use the internet and yeah, I think it it even has Wi-Fi. Yep. Until your apps no longer function because you’re using such an antiquated iOS. Not complaining, now, are we?
Sisters Disruption and Innovation
Disruption and Innovation are sisters. They go hand in hand. Donna Disruption is truly ahead of her time. She doesn’t even think in terms of iPhones. No, she thinks totally in terms of the cloud, where you’ll soon no longer need any sort of device at all. Donna Innovation can read her sister’s mind and immediately cracks on with researching, trialling, testing. The sisters put their heads together. Do you reckon the market is ready for your Life on the High Cloud concept, sister Disruption? Hmm no, most people are still merrily tapping away at their dinkytoy phones. Shall we surprise them then, sister Innovation? Yes, let’s! Right, on the count of 3! Ready? And then the two sisters, who are clearly ahead of their time, unleash their gigantic CloudConnector on the world.
At first nothing happens, because you have to be willing to see true Disruptive Innovation. The sisters know that it could therefore take some time before their idea catches on. They’ll be lucky in fact if their CloudConnector takes off by 2017. For the more tech savvy though, those happily embracing it in 2016, there’s no sense of disruption, only welcome innovation. They saw it coming.
Meanwhile, the Disruption and Innovation sisters are hidden behind some cloud or other, already hatching their next plan.
Dear sisters, I’m personally searching for a dis-disruptive innovation, because I have a disruptive health thing going on that I would dearly like to be rid off.