If you recall, I’ve blogged about ‘Disruptive Innovation‘ last July. This catchphrase is getting more popular as time passes by that I have to stop and wonder if this is just another hype in the making. Everyone seems to be wanting a fresh perspective and feels confident enough to say that they want to disrupt. Still, I believe that true innovation requires more than having great ideas, which are a dime a dozen. Innovation requires knowledge. It doesn’t matter where you get those crucial insights, from within your organization or from outside consultants. That person may have the freshest idea in the room but if this is not realistic and workable, it’s just another smart suggestion. To succeed as an innovator, you must mix expertise with experience.
Disruptive Innovation: Another Meaningless Buzzword?
Dan Rowinski wrote about How Researchers Map the Future of Innovation, and his insights got me intrigued that I’ve asked him a question. Is it by coincidence that the word ‘Disruptive’ is also tagged as “MoonShots”? It’s just a shame that Disruptive Innovation is fast-becoming another industry buzzword void of any real meaning. It suddenly compels entrepreneurs to think of something so different (sometimes bizarre) and unrealistic or else, they may feel like a big failure.. of not being disruptive enough. Here comes the innovator’s dilemma then, that in search of the next big thing, you fail to address the most basic issue of all which has the highest chance of making a difference in the lives of your customers. Consequently, it’s not surprising why customer experience is still a hit-or-miss deal with many businesses, big or small.
Exploring the Myth of Disruptive Innovation
If I were to thoroughly discuss this in bits and tiny details, I would have written a book about it instead. I don’t have that luxury of time. Back to the topic, we haven’t even defined what real innovation means and we’re already wanting to disrupt it. We even see many who are calling themselves as disruptor and I don’t have the right to question this. How many times have we read people writing about the end of technology A-Z and predicting that this will happen with the help of something disruptive? A lot. Are major brands like Apple, Google and Microsoft simply lucky by coming up with new products that are deemed disruptive? I bet it took them lots of research and testing before coming up with ways of changing things for the better; it simply didn’t happen out of thin air.
There’s More to Innovation than Disruption
No offense to Clayton Christensen, this Harvard business expert who coined in this popular term. I just believe that there’s more to innovation than having a wonderful set of theories to begin with. Surely, the seduction of becoming a disruptive innovator is great as it comes with fortune and fame. The challenge now is how you can keep both your feet on the ground while your mind floats in the cloud of countless possibilities. Sometimes, it’s good to ask your customers for their insights as they may hold that big secret you may be missing. No matter, it will all come down to solving real problems and making things better for everyone. That’s when you disrupt what’s broken and help everyone adapt to change.. for the greater good. Would you agree?