Simon T. Bailey is a business expert, consultant, motivational speaker, and author. For years, Bailey has been helping organizations shift their way of thinking by using his proactive approach. In the article below, Simon discuses the importance of embracing “disruption” in the business world — and how it can help your company to grow and expand.
“Disruption” is one of the most important words for you to embrace in this new era. There will come a time when you will have to break with the old to embrace the new, to let go of what is comfortable and convenient in order to grow and expand.
Disruption leads to new discoveries … if you are open, present and willing to pause and analyze what’s really going on, and reflect on what you can learn from it. For individuals, disruptions present an opportunity to refocus on what matters most, to de-clutter your heart, mind and soul, and to uncover hidden seeds of brilliance within you.
For businesses, disruptions offer the chance to modify your products/services to better align with current trends or to develop inventive, alternative products/services. Shifting your business in response to or anticipation of consumer demand ensures your organization will stay relevant and stay profitable in an ever-changing economy.
If you are doing things the way that you have always done them, then expect disruption. You do not have the luxury of maintaining a wait-and-see attitude. Are you kidding me? That is a slow moving strategy that leads to becoming obsolete and no longer relevant.
History offers countless examples of disruptions that have served to break apart seemingly stable industries and put them back together in a completely different structure. Amazon.com opened an online bookstore, positioning itself to sell directly to consumers and offering free shipping as a hook to drive loyalty. This pioneering company caused a commotion in the traditional book publishing industry and completely transformed the way books are distributed. Now, the traditional bookstore is being disrupted by Kindle, iBookstore, and every e-reader imaginable.
Those who thought the disruption was a passing fad woke up one day to find that their marketplace had disappeared. Don’t let it be you. You are probably saying Simon, what should I do? My friend, very simple. Disrupt Thyself! Intentionally reinvent. Be curious about everything. Ask profound questions. Go the opposite direction. Flip the script.
Then there are companies that intentionally induce their own internal disruptions in order to remain relevant and competitive. Here are a few examples:
World-renowned video-game maker Nintendo was established in Japan in 1889 as a maker of handmade playing cards.
Gucci, famous for top quality shoes and handbags, started as a small leather goods company making everything from saddles to luggage.
Consider now that Virgin Airways is now taking reservations for people to travel into outer Space and into the depths of the Ocean.
All of these companies were flexible, nimble and insightful enough to proactively disrupt the norm and move in a new, fresh direction.
What about you? When the next disruption takes place, which side of the fence will you be on? Will you be the one initiating the disturbance or the one sitting on the other side watching it happen?
When you consider the personal impact of disruption, what comes to mind? What are you going to have to break or split from in order to fly and soar? What bold moves do you need to make in order to live your life by design rather than by default? How can you initiate a disruption?
How can you initiate a disruption?
Be bold and challenge yourself to do something you’ve never done before – go rock climbing or windsurfing, learn a foreign language, volunteer for an organization in a capacity outside your comfort zone.
Explore other professional opportunities. Check out a company that enables you to test-drive your dream job.
If you’re a leader, rotate leadership responsibilities among the high-potential, A-level players on your team. Allow them to be boss for a week and let them experience leadership firsthand.
Discovery happens to those hungry for change. Be open to profound disorientation (when nothing makes sense and yet there is an assurance in your soul that everything is working in your favor) as you move towards profound clarification.
I sense that some of you right now need to experience a disruption. You are coasting along hoping and a praying that something will change. Well, the apple may not fall from the tree and hit you on the head, however, if you are reading this article then you get a clue – disruption is man’s best friend.
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