A few months ago my CIO said that she wanted to us think up some “disruptive thoughts”. I totally understood where she was coming from. Continuous improvement works, but only up to a certain limit and then after that, you get diminishing returns so that the effort you spend on improvement actually costs more than the improvement saves. At some point, you need to stop evolving the process. You need a revolution.
Disruptive thoughts = revolution.
At the SXSW conference there was a session entitled “Outthink the Future with Just 10 Ideas a Day“. The presenter, James Altucher, talked about how the “idea muscle” needs a workout and that by thinking of ten ideas a day you can give it that work out. Do the ideas need to be usable ideas? No. Do they need to be disruptive? No.
But then if you follow along with this concept, take a notepad with you and write down ten ideas a day, you will exercise that idea muscle and the more you exercise it the more likely you are to have those disruptive thoughts. The intent isn’t to have ten disruptive ideas a day but to review your ideas and see which ones can be built upon, molded, enhanced to be something better. Something unique. Something disruptive.
So what did I do with my disruptive thoughts? I disrupted her weekend. I sent her a list of disruptive thoughts, ideas on what we were doing and how to change things up. How to be different. How to survive and provide benefit to the business, to Albertans. Where they a solid list of disruptive thoughts? Probably not. I was exercising my “idea muscle” and these ideas came flying out. But even so, within the ideas is a kernel of truth and hopefully, that kernel takes root and disruption takes hold.