Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Being 'disruptive' is a good thing!

I remember in school that anyone who didn't sit down and follow the rules was labeled as a disruptive student. Anyone who caused us to question what we were told to do or why we had to do it was considered a disruptive force. We were led to believe that being disruptive was a bad thing. I've now come to believe that being disruptive is a good thing!

According to the Mirriam-Webster online dictionary Disrupt means
to cause (something) to be unable to continue in the normal way : to interrupt the normal progress or activity of (something)
True innovators are disruptive forces.  They question the status quo and look beyond what we can currently do to see and strive for more.  Henry Ford, Alexander Graham Bell, Benjamin Franklin, the Founding Fathers, Thomas Edison. These were all disruptive people who challenged what was and pursued what could be.

Part of the reason for my change of heart is a blog post Peter Diamandis of XPrize and Singularity University sent out this past weekend as part of his newsletter. The part of the post that hit me the hardest was when he talked about how it takes courage to be disruptive. Dan Sullivan's 4 C's.  Let me quote this for you:

The first is to make a commitment.
This commitment gives you the willpower and energy you need for the second C: courage.
With commitment and courage, you have the power to create capability.
And finally, armed with commitment, courage and capability, you then have confidence to execute your vision.
 This makes perfect sense to me and I see it with regard to all great innovators.  They had committed themselves to make a change, had the courage to forge ahead. They created the capability to make the change and had the confidence to execute that change, no matter what it was.

In his newsletter Peter put forth the example of 3D printing which is currently in the disruptive phase. Truthfully the origins of 3D printing goes back 35 years and it is only through persistence and courage that it has reached the success it has and it is predicted to approach $5 Billion in sales in the next 2 years.

So, will you simply follow the status quo or will you be a disruptive force in the world?