One of Future of Work’s favourite buzz phrases is being disruptive but what does it really mean? It refers to creating a new market or value proposition in an industry that didn’t see it coming. It means changing things up and influencing the way the rest of the market moves. Instead of thinking outside of the box, you get rid of the box. And one of the fastest ways to create instant edge in what you do is to disrupt it. But you don’t need to be the next Steve Jobs to get that disruptive edge. Here are some every day changes you can make to your working rhythms to start building a disruptive culture.
Think global. Think of your customer being a global entity, think of your workforce being multinational. Building more scope into your business will not only change operations but culture and expertise as well. Offshoring is now a solution for any size business because of its ability to be scalable and make room for specialist roles and interesting team structures locally.
Combine unrelated things. Like the art of creating a unique brand or business, in a world where we are over saturated with information that feels like the same thing, if you combine two or more things that are traditionally unrelated and integrate it together is a great way of disrupting your specialization. Think HR and digital media or insurance for social media platforms. Combining unrelated things does narrow your niche, but it also makes you more unique in your industry.
Design cross functional forums for brainstorms into your operations. Great minds think alike, but don’t get the best outcomes! Bring expertise from different areas on a regular basis to encourage getting “outside their box”. We all tend to get autonomous and that’s ok, but if you want to shake things up, you need to change the ones you surround yourself with.
Incorporate play. There are a lot of great recent studies that show more play in adult interaction — both socially and professionally gets more engaged workforce and better productivity. Learning is moving towards gamification, customers are experiencing things through virtual simulations, leaders are taken out on social challenges for professional development. Some of our best ideas have come from moments such as these.
Review technology. Does your technology cater for today’s customer or the future customer? Companies that are intimidated by new technology, or simply ignorant on how to use it, get easily disrupted. If you’re the CEO and you don’t have time to explore something new, ensure that someone in your company is at least looking into it. It’s better to know a little bit about a new technology than nothing and get blind-sided.
Be agile. A big problem with larger companies is that it takes way too long to make decisions and implement them. You have to be able to move quickly in order to remain relevant. Become an early adopter of new technology. processes, etc. so that you are always ahead of the curve and looking towards the horizon of innovation.
Seek talent that are built on potential, not proficiency. Find the transformative thinkers, the innovators, the emotionally intelligent, the team oriented, the challengers, the complex problem solvers. Attract them to your company by having a strong employer brand that demonstrates how you’re making a difference to the community now.