Thank God for Disruptors

Disruption occurs when the environment you are working and living in is stifled and not open and flexing freely like it would when it is dynamic and unrestricted. It also occurs when the new way is:

  • Cheaper
  • More available
  • Faster
  • Creates a better experience
  • Is easier and more responsible
  • Sustainable

Being able to adapt quickly to change requires a looseness, a self-belief that “it will be fine”, confidence in the future and being comfortable with not knowing. This reflects the attitude of a new generation of thinkers and innovators; we are living through a paradigm shift.  Around the world they are being called millennials (the new generation), and amongst them we are seeing a greater number of “disruptors”, which is exactly what we need. The speed of change is an exciting and challenging phenomenon but a key factor of exponential growth, ironically is also a critical attribute in our ability to adapt to a more sustainable model of growth and existence.

Ponder for a moment what happens when the population of a town passes a tipping point and starts to decline. The businesses and public amenities don’t fill all the town’s buildings anymore. It isn’t long before the infrastructure can no longer be supported and maintained, rather than adjust quickly and scale down to what is the new reality. Too often we hold on to our past much longer than there is value in doing so and when not addressed we see derelict buildings and whole areas become undesirable, like a detritus has taken hold. In these cases the early warnings have been missed, “change fast or face decline.”

We need disruptive thinkers to inspire change and create the breakthrough. They will create the evolutionary breakthroughs that will help reform our educational systems, political structures and institutional mindset that dominates most if not all populations.Example: The weight of a rocket that is launched into space is 90% fuel, we will never be able to understand or tap into the possibility of what the universe holds if we don’t think differently about propelling space-craft that can break out of our gravitational constrained atmosphere.  Lineal evolution would have us look for more power per weight, lighter materials etc. Disruptive thinking might look at a way of using reversed gravity to eject us into space.

If we look at an opportunity with a fresh set of eyes we will see many ways we could achieve progress and improvement but we will notice we are locked into the way we currently do it because of an existing asset investment / infrastructure. Disruptors like AIRBNB and UBER and many others have challenged that model by tapping into redundant and under utilised assets that already exist in the same geographical space, with less compliance, less owner resistance from people with a desire to supplement their current cost or leverage their asset resulting in many people across whole communities prospering.