Sun 18 Aug 2013 2:59PM

Self disruption from within every unit in the company

KS Keith Scanlon Public Seen by 8

IDEA SUMMARY: (Please discuss to improve this)

Each Department needs its disruptive innovator / cell that will (when successful) swallow the Department as it currently exists.

  • 10% of resources should be given to disruptors
  • Sales and Delivery Departments would be idea candidates to start with
  • Currently innovation driver is someone junior with no mandate or budget that must inform and remind employees to use the corporate innovation tool (similar to knowledge sharing driver, add-on-sales driver, etc.)
  • The Business Disruptor instead needs to look like the next leader of the future (transformed) department, reporting to the Department head, driving new business model and business development
  • Disruptive Innovation needs to be partly crowd-sourced across the Department, partly driven by the Disruptors own ideas + the cell as it builds

Efficient organisations are in the main grey dinosaur institutions - controlling, managing variance, streamlining, industrialising, harvesting, focused on the floor / the average mean behaviour. No room for innovation or independent thinking - how could we possibly scale that? How could we maintain 6 sigma quality? No, Innovation must be stopped!

Not easy going for any poor wannabe innovative employee (Dave) as we saw in the moocumentary movie.....

Innovation should ONLY be allowed (& simultaneously controlled) in newly purchased agile small companies that will not be fully integrated but allowed some autonomy and dispensation from the full corporate blueprint bureaucracy.

BUT what if every unit within the company could be allowed to be innovative & self-disruptive? Better yet, lets DESIGN every organisational unit to be self disruptive!
Any unit big enough to have a business controller (BC) should also have a business disrupter (BD) that tries to create an alternative business and canabilize the original business & poach all its people (before the external competition does).
The focus of disruption could be to adopt the strengths of new competitors & / or to circumvent the legacy constraints of the parent organisation (like Telefonica Digital acting like an over-the-top (OTT) comms service provider, so that if (traditional) Telefonica is beaten by a new OTT player, it should be Telefonica (Digital) rather than skype, viber or etc.). There could be many alternative focusses of course.
BUT the point is that we should try to build this disruption down at every individual unit level, where it can be most intimate & effective, not only at the company buys company level.


Poll Created Sun 18 Aug 2013 3:49PM

The ideal share of a unit's resources that should be channelled into self-disruption is 10% Closed Thu 3 Oct 2013 4:38PM

10% of a unit's budget & people put into business disruption would be a serious investment & sign of intent! Would it be too much & run the risk that both the legacy business & the new fledgling disruptive business would both crash before either could thrive? Or should the % always vary based on circumstances, e.g. What's the competitive urgency to re-invent the company - that urgency probably increase over the years for Kodak and others! So a default guidance of 10% might be too low in a fast changing environment or if the company has a dominant position?

10% is our best starting advice - what do you think? Yes, No or maybe?


Results Option % of points Voters
Agree 100.0% 3 TA JM JP
Abstain 0.0% 0  
Disagree 0.0% 0  
Block 0.0% 0  
Undecided 0% 5 KS BH SB JSH A

3 of 8 people have voted (37%)


Justine Mcfarlane
Mon 19 Aug 2013 8:07AM

10% is a good place to start. Interesting that google had their staff allocate 20% of their time to projects for innovation and pulled that back to 0%. 10% would be about 4 hr per 1 person per wk.


Jocelyne Prefontaine
Wed 21 Aug 2013 10:10PM

Ok as a starting position. Enough to be taken seriously in any organisation.


Triclops admin
Thu 22 Aug 2013 8:27PM

Yes 10%. I think that is a figure that you could persuade businesses to invest in. Anything above that and you will fail to convince the investment is even worth it?


Keith Scanlon Sun 18 Aug 2013 3:56PM

The other relevant Triclops discussion where this idea surfaced


Keith Scanlon Tue 20 Aug 2013 7:40PM

Or perhaps 2 dedicated business disruption leaders per 50 normal employees + a reasonable travel & demo budget + 2 hr per 1 normal employee person per wk + a bit left over to fund normal employees with a great idea & poach them over to disruption function if thry have a 2nd great idea....... or etc.


Keith Scanlon Tue 20 Aug 2013 7:50PM

In my experience, the budget per each normal person may be needed to get past middle managers (or make reporting managers look good) but may not actually be needed by the normal persons themselves. Anyone with a good idea they believe in will find / make the time to propose & push it. Similar with time for ideation / brainstorming - may need a budget to start a culture but may not need any to continue. I find I do best reflection & ideation on the plane on the way back from a customer engagement that I just survived, just after all electronics have to be turned off for take-off.... BTW, Do you know whether the google staff became any less innovative when the budget was cut to 0% ? or what innovation measures could track this ?


Triclops admin Thu 22 Aug 2013 8:21PM

I am finding this very interesting and wanting to work on this seriously. How will it work? What does it look like? How does it compare to what apple does? Mini product development factories inside the larger company? How will each unit work and which functions will it work in?

There needs to be an element of secrecy for the disruptor sub-company in the whole? How can that be handled?


Triclops admin Thu 22 Aug 2013 8:25PM

Also I read somewhere (sorry my ability to keep references is really bad). that IBM does this with its executive team and is one of the reasons for its continuing success. Each executive team knows that there is another parallel team ready to take over if they fail or performance starts to take a downward curve. It effectively works like a multiparty system for government. except shareholders and profits are the voters