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When is disruption a good thing?

When is disruption a good thing?
Over the years, I have( mostly) cured my case of “the blurts”, the smart Aleck retorts that ricochet out of my brain.

“Enjoy your workout” is one provocative greeting that threatens my self-control on a regular basis. The receptionist at my health club says it every time I check in and every time, I must silence the sarcastic, no longer nimble of frame or fleet of foot woman who has put aside cravings of pie and chocolate to climb aboard the gerbil wheels of fitness.

I do NOT enjoy my workout…but I do it anyway.

It was during just such a purge of pleasure that it dawned on me. Asking you to  introduce creative disruption as a discipline in your life or in your organization probably will elicit a similar sarcastic…” please don’t let me say what I think out loud” response. Heck, what does it mean anyway? How can anything “disruptive” be a good thing in day already filled with unpleasant surprises and constant interruption?

In the last decade, there have been several phrases coined to describe the aftermath of technological developments or especially erratic market forces that erupt into seismic marketplace changes. Creative Disruption is a phrase that implies pre-emptive actions we take to move toward change. Creative Disruption is used in many contexts rather like a meme more than an established formulaic practice. For this blog, I’ll describe it as

planning and executing regular creativity and discovery exercises outside of normal work routines, designating time and energy working the curiosity muscles that pull us from the path of established metrics. 

Think of your organization as an organism rather than a static entity in a vacuum. It is organic and constantly changing as is the world around it.

Just as you can affect the quality of your health and your life with good nutrition and a fitness plan, you can affect the long-term health and well-being of your organization with what you feed it and how you exercise it beyond routine activity. There is no single fitness plan suited for every individual and every stage of life, and there is not just one approach for using creativity and a break in our normal routine to build capacity for a healthier organization. Think beyond performance evaluations and metrics that are more like fitness evaluations than activity that builds muscle, heart health, stamina, stability and balance.

If you use this fitness plan metaphor for Creative Disruption, what do you need to exercise to insure organizational health? Are you paying attention to how and what you “feed” your organism?

  • The human body changes exercise and nutritional needs with time and age and so does your organization. How are you adapting systems and behaviors that take those changes into account?
  • The best fitness plans offer a variety of exercises. Some are designed for cardiac health others designed for strength and still others for stability and balance. Is your “fitness plan” lopsided or is it a balanced approach to health and wellness?
  • Have you thought about enlisting the aid of a “fitness” professional to challenge your fitness level and hold you accountable for adhering to a regular exercise plan?

How can you use this metaphor creatively to determine what changes you need and new behaviors you want to adopt to insure that your organism thrives and does not succumb to an early demise?

You don’t abandon all your personal daily activity in favor of a fitness regime. But just as you find a way to work with a variety of activities and behaviors that ultimately lead to healthy lifestyle changes, start with modest creative disruption goals, test your overall health and adapt accordingly as you work your way to longer term cultural changes.

Oh, and least I forget to mention it…

Enjoy your workout!!!!!!!!!!


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