Monday, January 18, 2016

Disruptive defined -- again!

I'm not one to obsess over the number of angels on the head of a pin, but a recent posting about what's disruptive and what's not caught my eye -- to wit: an innovation that captures and exploits excess capacity may well be disruptive even it doesn't it the traditional definition that it must come from below from a less capable competitor

The poster child for this idea is the smart phone that exploits the excess capacity in a mobile telephone to do decidedly non-telephonic things. Certainly disruptive! Does anyone have a land line anymore? But it didn't come for a poor below the horizon start-up. Apple was a big dog before the iphone, etc.

For those of us raised on the Theory of Constraints, 'exploiting excess' is certainly a different book. In the ToC world, the idea is all about efficiency: maximize the capacity and capability of the least capable functionality, and then do no more!

But then fostering disruption is not about efficiency; it's about creating and promoting and adopting new effectiveness, even if a bit chaotic. So, if you're out to be disruptive, the button-down is out and the t-shirts are in! The precision of project management is subordinate to eccentric ideas and free thinking. (Does PMI know this?)

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