June 11, 2020

How to Create Disruptive Innovation Within Your Business

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How to Create Disruptive Innovation Within Your Business

How can we build a strategy based on disruptive innovation and predict the future of our business? Director of Digital and Marketing Strategy, Marc Binkley, describes the four steps in a framework to help build a strategy with disruptive innovation and make achievable predictions for the future. This concept can be applied across industries, and we can see elements of it in the businesses and brands that were able to withstand and quickly pivot as the world changed during COVID-19.

These four steps of how to predict the future are inspired by Clayton Christensen, who coined the term disruptive innovation. This “describes a process by which a product or service takes root initially in simple applications at the bottom of a market and then relentlessly moves up market, eventually displacing established competitors.”

How do we determine what is next and predict the future for our business to grow and thrive despite challenging or changing times? Here are the four steps to get started on predicting the future and paving the way for disruptive innovation.

  1. Keep an open mind
  2. Do research
  3. Make specific predictions
  4. Run a thought experiment

Step 1: Keep An Open Mind

It’s hard to put a strategy in place and think it’s the only way to succeed in the future. A rigid and unmovable strategy won’t be able to withstand quick or dramatic changes in the world, as we have seen with COVID-19. The world is evolving every day, so having an open mind to the possibilities will keep your business and strategy flexible.

Step 2: Do Research

What do you want to know? Look at your customers and what they are buying your product or service for. Do this by changing your perspective on your business; maybe your customers are using your product or service differently than you intended. What does that look like and how does that change the way you see your brand? Use this research and create a list of areas of innovation to explore.

Step 3: Make Specific Predictions

If you’re too vague on your predictions, they probably won’t come true in the way you visualize them. Based on your research and list of disruptive innovation, create very specific predictions that could come true in that capacity.

Step 4: Run a Thought Experiment

Once you have a list of predictions for your business, ask questions: What assumptions are you making about your predictions? What assumptions have to come true for your predictions to come true? Use the power of a team to engage different perspectives and opinions. This thought experiment will help direct you to an accurate outcome.

The framework outlined here will help you build a durable strategy focused on disruptive innovation that will last through changing and challenging times.

Marc Binkley, Director of Digital & Strategy