Disruptive thinking


Rather than sticking to the ‘safe’ strategy of incremental change to existing products and services, disruptive thinking is a radically different mindset for business success in crowded marketplaces.

For leaders, the challenge lies in how best to initiate and encourage this creative approach. Here are some different approaches from experts in the field:

Sir Ken Robinson

Creativity and education expert and author Out of Out Minds: Learning to Be Creative in 2001

A master debater and orator, Robinson’s focus is for the world to embrace creative thinking as a social, economic and political imperative. He argues that thinking creatively is something every business must be doing well.“Creativity is not some exotic, optional extra. It is a strategic issue.”

David McKinney

Co-founder of Perth-based technology company Filter Squad

Filter Squad changes the way music fans find songs they like through products like the Discovr app, which has more than two million downloads. The company is known for taking radical ideas and turning them into new products. The company tries to avoid group brainstorming, instead McKinney invests significant time in harnessing creativity by going to the beach for long, uninterrupted periods.

“An idea that doesn’t get made real and tested is nothing. Ideas must be executed to have any value.”

Irene van der Does de Willebois

Sydney-based executive coach and author

Willebois works with clients like AMP and Macquarie Bank to bring out people’s creativity. She also utilises McKinney’s creativity retreats which he calls ‘presencing’. Many of her clients often feel they are not creative. But she begs to differ, building creative confidence, skills and energy in her clients’ work and lives.

“Once you begin to look for ideas, they start bubbling up, literally. The well of creativity is always there.”

Clayton Christensen

The godfather of disruptive thinking and author of The Innovator’s Dilemma

Describes game-changing new products and services as ‘disruptive technologies’. These new products and services ignore the status quo and go it alone. Christensen identifies why so many businesses miss market opportunities – because they stick to ‘traditional’ ways of operating.

Luke Williams

Melbourne-born, New York-based author of Disrupt: Think the Unthinkable to Spark Transformation in Your Business

Another thought leader on disruptive thinking, Williams’ speaking engagements this year are taking him across the globe and his clients include HBO, Corning, Crocs, American Express and Hewlett-Packard. Everywhere Williams goes around the world, people are facing the same issues – coming to terms with the accelerating pace of change and high levels of uncertainty.“Think what no one else is thinking, and do what no one else is doing.”

Ken Hudson

Former marketing director of American Express

Hudson runs his own consultancy business, holds workshops and consults on creativity and innovation. Clients include Roche, Dell Computers, Hilton Hotels, Mars, Baxter Health Care, Plan, MYOB and Suzanne Grae. He has trained thousands of students and executives in creative thinking techniques. Hudson’s case for disruptive thinking:

“It will make your job easier. If you have it in your head that creativity is more like a muscle that has to be exercised.”

Five stages of disruptive thinking

  • Craft a disruptive hypothesis. Ask yourself: “How can we disrupt the competitive landscape by delivering an unexpected solution?”.
  • Define a disruptive market opportunity. Work out if there is a way that you can be the only ones doing this new thing.
  • Generate several disruptive ideas. Look at small “tension points” that can be fixed to enhance customer experience.
  • Shape them into a single, disruptive solution. Avoid your usual approach and try something drastically different.
  • Make a disruptive pitch. Persuade internal or external stakeholders to adopt what you have created.

SOURCE: Disrupt: Think the Unthinkable to Spark Transformation in Your Business by Luke Williams.

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Disruptive thinking


Rather than sticking to the ‘safe’ strategy of incremental change to existing products and services, disruptive thinking is a radically different mindset for business success in crowded marketplaces.

For leaders, the challenge lies in how best to initiate and encourage this creative approach. Here are some different approaches from experts in the field:

Sir Ken Robinson

Creativity and education expert and author Out of Out Minds: Learning to Be Creative in 2001

A master debater and orator, Robinson’s focus is for the world to embrace creative thinking as a social, economic and political imperative. He argues that thinking creatively is something every business must be doing well.“Creativity is not some exotic, optional extra. It is a strategic issue.”

David McKinney

Co-founder of Perth-based technology company Filter Squad

Filter Squad changes the way music fans find songs they like through products like the Discovr app, which has more than two million downloads. The company is known for taking radical ideas and turning them into new products. The company tries to avoid group brainstorming, instead McKinney invests significant time in harnessing creativity by going to the beach for long, uninterrupted periods.

“An idea that doesn’t get made real and tested is nothing. Ideas must be executed to have any value.”

Irene van der Does de Willebois

Sydney-based executive coach and author

Willebois works with clients like AMP and Macquarie Bank to bring out people’s creativity. She also utilises McKinney’s creativity retreats which he calls ‘presencing’. Many of her clients often feel they are not creative. But she begs to differ, building creative confidence, skills and energy in her clients’ work and lives.

“Once you begin to look for ideas, they start bubbling up, literally. The well of creativity is always there.”

Clayton Christensen

The godfather of disruptive thinking and author of The Innovator’s Dilemma

Describes game-changing new products and services as ‘disruptive technologies’. These new products and services ignore the status quo and go it alone. Christensen identifies why so many businesses miss market opportunities – because they stick to ‘traditional’ ways of operating.

Luke Williams

Melbourne-born, New York-based author of Disrupt: Think the Unthinkable to Spark Transformation in Your Business

Another thought leader on disruptive thinking, Williams’ speaking engagements this year are taking him across the globe and his clients include HBO, Corning, Crocs, American Express and Hewlett-Packard. Everywhere Williams goes around the world, people are facing the same issues – coming to terms with the accelerating pace of change and high levels of uncertainty.“Think what no one else is thinking, and do what no one else is doing.”

Ken Hudson

Former marketing director of American Express

Hudson runs his own consultancy business, holds workshops and consults on creativity and innovation. Clients include Roche, Dell Computers, Hilton Hotels, Mars, Baxter Health Care, Plan, MYOB and Suzanne Grae. He has trained thousands of students and executives in creative thinking techniques. Hudson’s case for disruptive thinking:

“It will make your job easier. If you have it in your head that creativity is more like a muscle that has to be exercised.”

Five stages of disruptive thinking

  • Craft a disruptive hypothesis. Ask yourself: “How can we disrupt the competitive landscape by delivering an unexpected solution?”.
  • Define a disruptive market opportunity. Work out if there is a way that you can be the only ones doing this new thing.
  • Generate several disruptive ideas. Look at small “tension points” that can be fixed to enhance customer experience.
  • Shape them into a single, disruptive solution. Avoid your usual approach and try something drastically different.
  • Make a disruptive pitch. Persuade internal or external stakeholders to adopt what you have created.

SOURCE: Disrupt: Think the Unthinkable to Spark Transformation in Your Business by Luke Williams.

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