A Beginner’s Guide to Sourcing Positively Disruptive Ideas

The most successful companies are not copycats. They are the originals that offer something new to their target markets. Even if the idea is not entirely unique, there is no denying that organisations that want to make a significant impact and achieve sustainable growth must find an execute disruptive ideas.

You have probably heard the mainstream media discussing disruptive innovation. We are living in the age of technological revolution and endless opportunities where new products are increasingly being launched. In this age of innovation, new solutions are being built on existing concepts faster than ever before.

What does this mean for businesses and think tanks? The increased prevalence of disruptive ideas and innovations points to a huge wave of innovation in the future, and nearly every industry will feel its impact. So, you must be on the lookout for positively disruptive ideas, internally and externally. From encouraging your staff members to share their views or documenting your reflections and thoughts, you have access to rich sources of untapped disruptive ideas. Here are other ways to sources great ideas.

Document your experiences, thoughts, and reflections

Keeping a journal is the simplest and fruitful source of great ideas. The best part? You don’t need costly resources. All you need is a notebook and a pen. Start writing ‘morning’ or ‘evening’ pages immediately you wake or before going to bed. Think about the challenges you had during the day and write freely about them.

It’s not about creating something exciting. You are just letting your mind wander and documenting those experiences. After all, you might see things from a clear perspective and probably realize something you had not thought about previously.

Become an avid reader

Perhaps you feel the key to business success lies in keeping up with keynote speeches from business moguls, cutting-edge research in your industry, or regular trade publications. That’s not bad. But the actual trick to uncovering disruptive ideas and innovations is reading away from the specific problem you intend to solve.

From poetry to prose and non-fictional titles, step outside your bubble and challenge yourself to relate to a new set of challenges, characters, and environments. This is an effective way to widen your perspective of different issues. You can also pick up a selection of unusual magazines. You never know the new insights you might gain.

Crowdsource from your staff

Your employees are the greatest resource and experts on your products, services, and value-in-practice. Perhaps they are full of ideas, especially if you make a point of rewarding participation and welcoming suggestions. However, you might be missing on the spontaneous and easy to forget ideas that happen during their inconvenient moments.

For this reason, you must ensure everyone has access to a system where they can log these spontaneous ideas no matter how minor they seem. You never know, your secretary might share insights that could lead to better customer service.

Become a better listener

One unique thing about positively disruptive ideas is that they might seem too unusual and unlikely to work at first. That is why they are called disruptive ideas. It is important to spend more time considering various suggestions from employees, customers, suppliers, and other stakeholders before you dismiss them on practical grounds.

Find out if there is a nugget of inspiration to draw from an idea even if it eventually transforms into something else. You shouldn’t be afraid to share, collaborate, challenge, iterate, and evolve… you never know, you might end up with a million-dollar product idea. Even the world’s greatest inventions began with a simple idea. So, don’t feel like you are wasting time analysing a customer’s comment that suggests something for your organisation.

Competition analysis

There are arguments for and against focusing on what your direct competitors are up to if you plan to do something new. However, there is an element of this approach that is effective – analyse your competitors’ weaknesses. This could be your opportunity to outshine them.

It is challenging to compete on what your counterparts are excellent at. But it is much easier to identify their weaknesses and work to make up for the shortfall. Be sure to analyse whether the opportunity is necessary and resonates with your company values. After all, it’s all about steering your ship in a storm and somewhat surprising direction.

Positively disruptive ideas can come from anywhere. So, challenge yourself to stay open to new and unusual sources of ideas and inspiration. View your organisation as part of the wide world in which it thrives. This way, you will be able to think outside the box, gain a new perspective, and analyse your ideas a lot more before you question them.

This flexible approach might let you down and an interesting road of uncovering new ideas you may never have thought about before.

Written by Åse Angland-Lindvall

With relentless energy and an unrivalled vision for helping companies to be successful, a core skill she gained at her time at E.ON and Ericsson, Åse helps companies understand the need for continuous innovation.

November 13, 2020

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