Monday, June 10, 2013

Disruption Is Good. It's Where Innovation Comes From.

Your competition may or may not finish you. But,
complacency, stagnation and lack of innovation surely will.

Not long ago, a discussion on Twitter got me thinking: What does the 'I' in CIO stand for? Good question. It could mean Information, Intelligence or Imagination. (My reply: I picked Inspiration). But today, the 'I' in CIO stands for Innovation. Yes... Chief Innovation Officer.

Two questions popped into my head:
* Why Innovate? Pretty straight answer --> Innovation means Growth.
* What does Innovation really have to do with Technology? By themselves, they seem independent enough. But in combination, they drive new discoveries, scientific inventions, and ultimately, markets, businesses and economies. To understand the Tech + Innovation connection, let's analyse the 'Why' in technology.

Why do we use Technology? 

Another good one from the insightful Brian Meredith. Essentially, all technology eases life for users by providing convenience, access, comfort, security, peace-of-mind... in two ways:

  1. Enabling us to do something better (faster, cheaper, simpler)
  2. Empowering us to do something new we did not do before

Thus, technology makes innovation happen. And innovation creates technology. But with 'social' coming in (more ideas, voices, influences), the traditional cycle has been disrupted in many ways:
  • Collective Genius - Crowd-sourcing, Crowd-funding, Twitter Chats, Group Blogs
  • Collaborative Consumption aka Shared Economy (P2P Rentals) - AirBnB, Gumtree, Etsy, TaskRabbit, car pooling
  • Community Intelligence - brand forums, ratings/ reviews (Yelp), consumer feedback
  • Collaborative Creativity - user-generated content, amateur videos, mobile blogging, curation tools, visual web (Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, Snapchat)

Embrace The Social Innovation Ecosystem

The guiding principle of today's "social" connected era is: Don't plan for control. Encourage participation. Integrate social technology into the business model. Monitor engagement. Manage co-creation. Measure collaboration. Adopt social business. Disruption is good. It's where innovation comes from.

Social Technology leads to The Social Innovation Ecosystem. And vice versa. This new dynamic is changing the way we live. Go with the flow... even if it feels like going against the tide !! Embrace social. Embrace change. Change is the seed of growth. Disruption, the mother of all innovation.


Two thought-provoking quotes by Charles Darwin and Alvin Toffler - both germane to digital innovation and transformation, and equally applicable to individuals and businesses.

Are you ready for change? Watch: Digital Disruption: Unleashing the Next Wave of Innovation

Recommended: I'll leave you with two excellent articles, ImageThink graphics and TED videos:

If you see any good articles on disruption or innovation, please share. Thanks.

Lead Image Courtesy: Alison Herzog via Twitter

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