Disruption as a source of value in someone’s professional history has been the subject of a number of recent HBR posts, including one from Whitney Johnson and one from Claudio Fernández Aráoz, an undisputed thought leader on the subject of making #greatpeopledecisions.
Disruption requires the ability to create a disconnect, learn and benefit from it.
Creating a disconnect requires awareness, courage and empathy: it requires awareness of our feelings and fears, as we initially often fear disconnects, while we like dealing with the same and again; it requires courage to recognise our fears and move on, temporarily leaving our comfort zone, so as to grow it over time; it also requires empathy so as to put ourselves into somebody else’s shoes, being able to share our thoughts, listening and learning.
Creating a disconnect requires unconventional wisdom, being able to pause and think, taking the time to find people who inspire us, connecting with them and sharing thoughts with them.
Disruption is listening, creating room for those we like, asking open questions, then keeping silent so as to absorb as much “open thinking” as possible.
Disruption is being as innovative and open as our ability to connect to people who can contribute, share their voice, and again inspire us.
Disruption is luck, being open to luck, knowing that luck will play its role and not fearing it. Disruption is dropping “career” for “choice” or, as Gianpiero Petriglieri puts it, creating your own “work of art”.
Disruption is knowing how to look for the next positive Black Swan, as good as the people we like. Disruption means dealing with Obliquity, or looking for our next move knowing in advance that the only thing we know is that we don’t know what’s next.
Disruption is finding satisfaction in people we work with, rather than in what we do.
Disruption is connecting wisely.
Tell us a great (and non-obvious) disruption story.
Apologies for a late reply, Paola and thank you for a great and thought provoking question.
Great (and non-obvious) disruption stories happen when we take on a challenge or a job which we had not prepared for directly, but which we feel we can take on. It needs to be unexpected, it needs to be new and “lateral”.
I cannot make explicit references to cases, for obvious reasons.
However, one case comes to my mind amongst many. A lawyer turned investment banker turned Consul-general (very successful at all three) could be one of the examples, or a former capital markets banker turned Director General in an important public administration. Both cases come to my mind as examples of exceptionally talented women, who were able to identify their Black Swan when it arrived, took some risks and succeeded.
I will be glad to continue the conversation more in detail, as I think we will be able to identify important common learnings from those and other cases.