photo credit: http://reluctantlydomesticated.blogspot.com
Clayton Christensen, professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School, says, “Innovation requires disruption.”
Think about it. If you make a list of the top 5 organizations changing the world, and compared it to a list of the last 5 to close up shop (in any given industry), what’s the difference between the two? The ones who are flourishing and changing the world are constantly innovating; the others, well, have some sort of story about how change would’ve violated their core values, or that their organization was built on thinking that was before its time, or something like that.
Organizations–businesses, companies, schools, churches–are essentially communities of people. That means they live and die by their humanity. When ego, apathy or indifference poison the community well, the likelihood for innovation diminishes greatly. That’s because innovation requires disruption. And disruption requires humility, gentleness, respect and honesty.
One of the best disruptors out there–a man characterized by humility, gentleness, respect and honesty–is renowned chef Gordon Ramsay. “What?!” you say? To the casual observer, it seems Ramsay’s built his brand on the exact opposite; arrogance, impatience, even cruelty. It’s true, he has a firey personality, but watch his show Kitchen Nightmares. Closely. His purpose in spending a week with a restaurant is to bring it back from the dead. To get it innovating again (or for the first time.) Ramsay knows that innovation requires disruption, and so he comes in at the beginning of the week and ‘shakes things up.’ Though it may look like he’s out of control, it is completely planned and brilliantly strategic. Once the disruption has done its work, observe Ramsay closely, and you will be astonished at how humble, gentle, respectful and honest he is. Ask the chefs and owners whose faces he got all up into at the beginning of the week how they feel about him at the end of the week and you’ll be surprised again. Almost every one of them is gushing with gratitude and praising his genius.
In his industry, Gordon Ramsay has given himself to disruption because he understands a few very basic things. He knows that hard work and working smart both pay off. He knows that success comes from offering real value, and doesn’t come from reputation, past performance or self-reported prowess. And he understands that the kiss of death for any person, organization, industry or institution is complacency.
So what about you? Take a look at the organization you help lead. Are you, as a community, humble enough to welcome disruption? Or are you stuck in your own ego of past performance or self-reporting? Bottom line, if you desire to truly make a difference and impact this world, you must be continually innovating.
Which means you must desire disruption.
(Author’s note: if you desire disruption, but you’re not sure where to start, please email us at email@example.com. Our nonprofit organization’s purpose is to help yours solve the problems that hinder mission. We would love to serve you.)