Positive disruptors are good for organizations. They see opportunities for improvement everywhere. While participating on a non-profit board conference call, we were asked to offer up qualities we brought to the organization. Most of the qualities the board members gave were good qualities: innovator, leader, cheerleader, plus many more. When it was my turn I said, “positive disruptor.”
Silence filled the conference call. It was as if the conference call dropped dead like a cell phone thrown into a fish tank. Then I could hear paper shuffling in the background and people whispering on the other end. It was like I shouted a four-letter word during a church service.
They likely heard the word, disruptor, not the word, positive. Disruptors are trouble makers, right? A positive disruptor, however, is someone who simply challenges crusty organizational habits and works to find positive alternatives. The mistake I made was not fully explaining the term.
Positive disruptors are beneficial to companies. Below are seven reasons to have a positive disruptive spirit in your organization.
#1 Adaptability Gives Life to An Organization
The longer an organization exists the less pliable it becomes. Have you heard similar phrases like this before? “If it’s not broke don’t fix it.” “That’s the way we do things around here.” “It may not make sense but the boss wants it done this way.” Twenty-five years could pass and organizations like this could still be following the same processes. Companies that do not adapt to changing business climates disappear. Employing leaders and employees who are willing to adapt and mine for improvements give life to an organization.
#2 Identifies Closed Minds and Reduces Resistance
As the spirit of positive disruption spreads there are those who will resist but quickly change their stance once the reasons for change are explained. These are the reasonable people. Then there are people who resist change like water-logged wood resists fire no matter how much lighter fluid you use. Closed minded people, once clearly identified, need to be managed out of the organization. Don’t be surprised if many of your closed-minded folks are managers.
#3 Raises the Bar Even Higher
Positive change is focused on making your best even better. Olympic runners are incredible athletes. Yet, they are constantly training to improve their skills in order to win and beat the latest “unbeatable” Olympic record. When employees are identifying ways to improve the operation, the employee feels a sense of accomplishment and the company benefits from raising the bar even higher.
#4 Surprises the Competition
If you don’t have competition now, you will. It’s inevitable. To survive the race to surpass or remain ahead of your competition, an organization needs positive disruptors who have the drive and ability to surprise the competition with leaner processes, greater employee satisfaction, higher customer service levels and improved return on investment. Utilize your disruptors to surprise the competition.
#5 Encourages an Innovative Spirit
Innovation happens when there are high levels of trust in an organization. This translates to leaders feeling comfortable – not threatened – when positive disruptors improve existing products, develop new products, find new, untapped markets, or recommend enhanced technology that works and improves business operations. Positive disruptors innovate like bunny rabbits pro-create.
#6 Creates Efficiencies
Positive disruptors are not satisfied with driving the same route to the same destination every day. Not when there is a faster way to get there. In fact, the new route might have better scenery, few stop lights and smoother roads. Processes need to be reviewed, employees involved in the process need to be brought into the discussion. That’s how positive disruptors find faster ways to get from point A to point Z.
#7 Everyone Wins
Once your workforce is filled with people who are; 1) adaptable, 2) open-minded, 3) bar raisers, 4) competitive, 5) innovative, and 6) efficient, everyone wins. The organization will transform into a wildly successful enterprise. It’s fun being on the winning team. Positive disruptors find ways to win the right way.