DisruptionEd Morrison recently received a note from a long time EDPro reader suggesting the online newsletter, Byvation, whose editor writes about creativity, innovation and disruption. If you are interested, you can sign up for the free letter here.
The June issue features the article, "Shh...Don't Wake Up the Big Dog". Here are excerpts offering advice to entrepreneurs:
"...Make new friends In the early days, it's best to operate in stealth mode. Create prototypes, acquire funding quietly (i.e. friends, family, and angels), and most importantly - get customers...Making friends with bigger dogs offers you protection. And, when you're growing up - that's what you need. Joint Ventures, Alliances, and Strategic Partnerships opens doors to customers and lets you deal with others from a position of strength - instead of weakness. When the big dogs throw up legal and marketing roadblocks, you'll be able to persist in the fight...
...As an upstart - either a classic entrepreneur or a newly created corporate spinoff, you need to think disruptively. Like a growing puppy, you need to tip-toe around the big dogs. If they growl, back away. Find a new angle of attack. Think about who you need as strategic partners, know when you'll need them, and how you'll persuade them to join your cause.
In the end, your choices are 1) To compete with the big dogs, or 2) Strike disruptively. If you chose to mix it up with the big dogs, the odds are against you. And, even if you win, you'll probably end up in a no-profit zone, just like the auto industry or the airlines. At least disruption gives you a fighting chance."
...I especially like the author's focus on disruptive products and strategies. But there is another important application of disruption: as it applies to behavior.
Our first impulse is to think of non-status quo behavior as negative. But what if the established behavior no longer provides value? Disruptive appreciative behavior means the resulting activities will be different. This is how change occurs.
Disruptive behavior is critical to enable shifts to occur in environments if mature patterns of behavior stifle innovation and entrepreneurship. This is the case in Northeast Ohio. Entrepreneurs struggle for value in an environment still modeling post industrial hierarchical thinking, behavior and activity, stifling innovation.
Byvation offers good advice. I can think of no better way than to work "under the radar"; this allows new work to move forward creatively and uninterrupted in a continuous test environment, at least in the early stages.
One point that needs to be appreciated: leaders who are inventing and building new methods for innovation need to "lean into" each other.
A kind of banding together. Not necessarily work together, but like in chamber music performance, play forward relentlessly and powerfully, appreciate and be aware of fellow colleagues efforts, but constantly look for new avenues of opportunity - disruptive as they may be.