#innovationmandate

“Disruption.”

It’s word you hear everywhere these days.

What does it really mean?

Good question.

To find an answer, begin with a dictionary definition. Here’s one: Disruption is a “radical change in an industry or business strategy, especially involving the introduction of a new product or service that creates a new market.”

Or, a “disturbance or problems which interrupt an event, activity, or process.”

In a recent survey, we first asked thirty executives if they thought “leveraging disruption” was critical to the success of their organization. Twenty-nine of the thirty executives indicated that leveraging disruption was critical to their success. Not bad! At least they recognized the concept.

We then asked the same group to provide a definition for the word “disruption.”

Shockingly, only four out of the thirty were able to articulate a definition. Wow—I hope you find that as disturbing as I do! While the executives’ answer that disruption was critical to their success was absolutely correct, it’s meaningless if we don’t understand what disruption is, and how it applies to our organizations and our leadership. If we don’t know, then clearly we’re at risk of being disrupted.

Here’s a key LeaderLogic point that you should think about:

When it happens to you, disruption is your enemy.
When you’re the source, disruption is your friend.

If you’re a business owner and suddenly a competitor offers a new product that’s better than yours and at a lower price, that’s disruption that you don’t want. It could even put you out of business.

But if you’re the disruptor, and you’re innovating and staying one step ahead, disruption is good for you.
Which side would you rather be on? Do you want to be on the receiving end of disruption, or the one dishing it out?
Do you want to be a leader who’s constantly playing catch-up, or a disruptive leader who forges ahead boldly, laying the course for others to follow, and staying one step ahead?

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