The disruptor conversation is happening everywhere. Every business. Every industry. Every geo. In previous posts, I’ve talked about the importance of being a disruptor because the way I see it, you have two choices – you can disrupt or be disrupted. So, I decided to take this dialogue to the next level. Less talk, more action. Grab some coffee (or matcha green tea if that’s how you roll) and let’s get down to business. You’re about to find out if you have what it takes to be a disruptor.

Together, we are going to walk through an exercise that can help you get the ball rolling down the uncharted path of disruption. There are six steps, guys. That’s it, six steps to get you on your way to becoming one hell of a disruptor.

To make this experience more digestible and interactive, I am going to lay out six questions I’d like you to answer. Each question will come with a little more instruction to help shape how you answer and then allow you to turn those answers into action. This activity is one of those “the more the merrier” things. So, reserve a conference room, invite your colleagues, get some pastries and coffee (I am partial to jelly donuts), and get ready to have a big brainstorm sesh…

Here we go!

  • Identify your company’s purpose. Consider not just what your company does, but what it achieves for the customer. Answer this question: What business practices or norms are you willing to give up to remain true to your purpose?
  • What are the underlying assumptions you have about today’s marketplace? Are they related to competitors or customers? Are you in a crowded marketplace? Do you have multiple locations?
  • What assumptions can you challenge and still achieve your purpose? Let’s say you are a pizza chain: What if you ONLY focus on delivery and eliminate the pick-up option? Will that violate your purpose?
  • What am I really sick of? Think from the customer perspective on this. What changes would THEY want to see? Using the pizza example, will the customer need cash to tip the driver? Is there an option to use a credit card or an app?
  • We know that simply maintaining the status quo is not an option. Consider your responses to questions 3 and 4. What can your business do to disrupt the marketplace? Can the pizza place offer an app to handle orders and tipping?
  • What are your next steps? What will you do with the ideas generated? What’s your call to action? What’s your commitment? Let’s talk pizza again. Analyze customer feedback and preferences. Determine customer loyalty drivers. Conduct a market analysis of your competition. Determine the cost of a storefront. Inquire about an app/improved website design. Compare best practices of other delivery services.

If you engage in this exercise with your people, you will lay a strong foundation toward disruption. Each step is like piling bricks and building something you can execute on. And here’s another secret – if you start with leadership, you will spark a conversation that will lead to real change and will spread like wildfire throughout the organization.

The biggest challenge to creating disruption is that you never have the conversation about it.  The ideas for disruption lie within your company and often with your frontline employees who engage customers most. So, engage them!

Disruption is right under your nose. You can be the catalyst – your company, your department, your team. It starts with the conversation.

Who’s ready to disrupt?

Learn how ready your organization is to become a disruptor

March 14, 2018