I have always been impressed with businesses which have been thriving peacefully, having healthy top-line and bottom-line growth. Looking at many of them I have sometimes questioned the theory that is growth only caused by disruptions ?
On thinking about it a little deeper, I did try and understand what exactly is disruption ? The answer I derived was that disruption is
- Ability to spot opportunities – Some companies are able to spot opportunities which come up due to a technology change or new dynamics in the market. Since today we work in a globally connected world which is much flatter thanks to internet it is easier to cultivate new markets and develop new niches for ones products or services.
- Create an execution plan – Spotting opportunities is one thing and creating a plan to capitalize on the same is something completely different. Many a times we do see opportunities but seldom are we able to create a strategy to execute it, or put a team in place which understands the opportunity and works at it in a wholesome manner.
- Execution – The most important part of any disruption is how quickly and smoothly the same is executed. If you are able to execute a plan properly, quickly and with minimal errors then one can stay ahead of the curve and create growth opportunities which never existed.
Well most businesses today look at market leaders to learn trends and study new areas they are stepping into, which definitely is a proven strategy of following the leader. However real disruptions might not always be pursued by market leaders since they’re happy with the status quo, as they are ahead of the lot with their present offerings. So its important to remember that real disruptions will be pursued by new entrants or outsiders. They are the ones, who come with the potential to throw up some really interesting ideas.
Thus we see that disruption led innovation is normally driven by entrepreneurs. They want to think off the beaten path and would not want the structures and processes to slow them down; while on the other hand scaling up is more about management structures, systems, and processes. Great managers realize that growth and scaling require accountability, reliability, and predictability, which cannot be achieved through an unstructured innovation network.
Normally companies which became leaders on innovation would not have realized the disappearance of innovation, since the impact on bottom-lines aren’t visible so early. And by the time companies realize their lack of innovation, there is competition, market penetration and many other factors, which really make them vulnerable to new disruptions and innovations.
So the real challenge lies in having an environment which fosters innovation on the one hand, makes execution a passion and then builds on process and structures to create scale. Easier said than done, but then that is what can create real disruptive growth and change the course of companies.