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by Alex Low | @Alexander_Low

Innovate or Die. Really?

Every day someone is being disrupted. Every day something is being heralded as innovation.

Disruption always seems to carry a negative connotation, yet I don’t believe this always has to be the case. – I like this definition below :

Yes, your journey to work could be disrupted by a traffic jam making you late for work, however what if that disruption was being caused by a Unicorn? I would say that was worth the disruption for a once in a lifetime opportunity to see a Unicorn. 

Much like you can have people disrupt meetings in a negative way (or perceived) negative way. However, what if the reason they are doing it has merit and the end game is to create a more positive outcome or Speed up a process to get to the solution more effectively. 

I believe that disruption is healthy when it is for the right reasons. It can help break the standard cycle or thinking or thought beliefs.  “But we have always done it this way syndrome” 

This is what I look to do when I am either giving a talk or coaching a workshop. I want to break the audiences habitual thought process by disrupting how they think about things. In their case, the impact that social and digital is having and will continue to do so in sales, business development and marketing. 

If you are familiar with Carol Dweck, then I am of a growth mindset, however I recognise my audience may well be of fixed mindset and I have to find a way to help them change their thinking , again this disruption is not to be seen as negative as long as it is delivered in a way where they can understand the positive impact this will have on generating business conversations, proving ROI of social or helping shape a go to market strategy.

Innovation doesn’t always need to mean new technology has to be involved. If you see any of those life hacks on social, they are typically all based around everyday household objects that someone has thought up of a new or innovative way they can be used to solve a different problem or a really cost effective way of doing the same thing as an expensive solution eg bull dog clips as a smart phone desk holder.

The same applies in the world of sales and marketing. The chances are that you already have the majority of tech platforms you need, however you are not using them to their full potential , or can they be used in a different way or process ? Are you maximising the full potential of your CRM and reporting capability? What BI tools does your business already use, maybe in your Finance Dept which you could use to report sales & marketing data in a different way. How does LinkedIn and other social platforms fit into your go to market strategy? Are you using the basic analytics from LinkedIn to drive some of your targeting? If you use Hootsuite , do you use the full capability of its analytics to understand what content is working vs that which isn’t, so you can learn and iterate.

Whilst this may not be “sexy” in terms internal or external PR, sometimes things just need a bit of a refresh or view through a different lense and you will uncover huge amounts of opportunity within what you already have, with some disruptive thinking, in a glass half full secanrio. 

So, the next time you hear about disruption and innovation, take a pause and consider what needs to change? 

The People (thinking) Process (we have always done it this way) or Technology (don’t reinvent what you already have)

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