05.04.2022 17:30

6 Steps To Develop A Disruptive Mindset And Become an Industry Leader

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Everyone in every industry wants to best their competitors. Being ahead of the curve, embracing technology, outsmarting the competition, and providing innovative products and services — every business that wants to be at the top of the food chain will consider these strategies to reach their goals. These strategies are often associated as results from fostering a disruptive mindset within the organization.

Most people think about disruption as something bad — a challenge to the status quo that can lead the business closer to its downfall.

But understanding its concept and advantages will make you more receptive to the idea of adopting it in your company.

What Is A Disruptive Mindset?

The most common association used to define a person or organization with a disruptive mindset is being a change adapter. Being able to welcome change and transform it into something advantageous instead of a challenge is a characteristic often found among disruptors and innovators. 

The ability to learn from the past and focus on the future is also another characteristic of someone with a disruptive mindset. Having an outlook that goes beyond what is presented with current information and trends is a rare ability that can be honed with the right culture and environment.

Disruptors are also known to be calculated risk-takers who are not discouraged by pessimistic thinking. They are more excited than fearful in facing the hurdles they have to overcome to realize their ideas and manifest dreams into reality.

Overall, a disruptive mindset is a collection of characteristics that can be developed and trained by individuals and organizations. It is a way of doing things that can make them more adaptive, flexible, resilient, effective, and innovative in a way that will get them closer to their goals in the best way possible.

Steps to Develop A Disruptive Mindset

If you want to become a leader in your industry, adopting a disruptive mindset is a must. Here are the steps to take to help you and your organization become disruptors that can innovate better than the competition.

1. Embrace change

The world is continuously transforming. You need to be aware of the changes and keep track of where the trend is heading. You have to constantly analyze the shifts and understand their potential impact on the business.

While most organizations recognize this fact, many of them, especially established ones, have a hard time reacting to technological transformations and market changes because of their size.

Early adopters love change and are energized by it. They view it positively and enjoy the process of transformation. On the other hand, late adapters fight hard to resist change. 

Denial is the usual reaction to market forces and innovations that can potentially impact the business in terms of market share and future outlook. The usual thought process is that newcomers do not know what they are doing; or that they are just lucky to ride the hype; or that they do not have the finance and experience you have; or that if you just continue delivering the same product or service, as usual, your business will be back on track in no time.

It is also normal to be on the defensive, seeing innovations, discoveries, and new ways of doing things as an attack on the business model you have been using for years. Why not? You have tested and proven that what you are doing works, and that is not a bad thing at all. 

But in an ever-changing and fast-paced market, you need to be able to adapt quickly, or you will find your business lagging against competitors.

Those who have better processes, newer products, more innovative services, and trendier consumer approaches often capture the attention of the market and adapt accordingly. Embracing change by not being defensive and in denial can help keep your business become more relevant, effective, and resilient.

Focusing only on the past or present makes it hard to develop a disruptive mindset. Successful disruptors learn from the past and focus their time more on the future. 

Having a disruptive mindset is synonymous with being open to change and taking advantage of it. The reality is that people who thrive in chaos and uncertainty are advantageous to the company’s growth. 

One of the most effective ways to encourage a disruptive mindset in the workplace is to allow free discussions. Host meetings and town halls where everyone, regardless of their level in the company, can express their views on the discussed topics without any prejudice from other employees. In this kind of environment, people should be able to challenge ongoing processes and suggest new approaches without receiving instant backlash from the management.

2. Think long-term

A disruptive mindset focuses beyond incremental extensions and adjustments and factors in long-term scenarios that are scalable and sustainable. It incorporates a bigger perspective than what the current norms in the market present, stretching ahead of ordinary thinking and analysis.

To be innovative, you need more than just entrepreneurial spirit and analytical skills. You have to be equipped with the ability to dream and have the courage to manifest your fantasies into reality; from aspirations to tangible goals that result in progress toward business goals.

As a disruptor, you have to look at the future and play the long game. You must have an undying motivation and a strong sense of confidence in what you do. You should be fueled by your internal source of authority and responsibility to have what it takes to push through and be the trailblazer in the field.

3. Welcome diversity

As a leader, you must understand that you may not possess all the capabilities, knowledge, perspective, and experience to make things happen. This is why you need to employ individuals who possess different expertise and pool them together under the same roof to create a well-rounded organization. 

Hiring people from diverse backgrounds creates a balanced organizational culture. Diverse groups give more fresh ideas compared to homogeneous teams that are likely to produce the same thing over and over again. Being surrounded by people that churn out novel ideas and innovative perspectives promotes a disruptive mindset that the organization can benefit from. 

4. Be ready to take risks

Having a disruptive mindset means nothing if you cannot execute the ideas you have come up with. Innovators are known not only for their out-of-this-world concepts but also for their courage to go against the flow. Disruptors challenge known norms, established ‘truths’, popular beliefs, and proven strategies, believing that what they offer is revolutionary and can change the world for the better. 

Embracing change is a risk that can leave your organization vulnerable — a chance that you may not be willing to take probably because the stakes are too high. It is easier to play safe than venture into unknown territory and risk failure.

But if you want to become a leader in your industry, you need the courage to push boundaries and risk being the odd one out. You need to be ready to face adversities and criticisms, along with the possibility of failure. 

Pushing forward with courage alone is not the smartest decision, especially when the reputation and health of the business are involved. You have to take calculated risks and make sure the organization will not go down the moment the idea fails to capture market attention. Finding the balance between being courageous to push forward with your innovation while managing risks is one of the greatest skills you must hone to be a successful disruptor.

5. Stay creative and agile

Having a disruptive mindset is rooted in being creative in finding solutions to the most common problems. You do not always have to go by the book and do things traditionally and scientifically. Thinking out of the box is often associated with disruption and innovation since it solves things from a different perspective.

Instead of looking for solutions from the point of existing processes and structures, train your disruptive mindset by looking at unconventional means in facing challenges. Sometimes, the answer you have come up with maybe outrageous, but it can be the very thing you need for a breakthrough.

In case you are out of creative ideas, ask for help from employees and people outside your usual circle. You will be surprised at how they tackle problems in a way you have never thought of before. Remember that you are not alone in running the business, so do not hesitate to tap others for help.

Staying flexible lets you take advantage of emerging technology, processes, and trends faster. This strategy not only keeps your company adaptive but also lets you present employees opportunities for growth and development of their skill sets. 

6. Rinse, repeat, evolve

Adopting a disruptive mindset does not need to be abrupt and unpleasant. You may think of change as something costly and uncontrollable, and this can make you averse to innovations or incorporating new things into existing knowledge, processes, and practices.

Using an iterative approach is the best way to help you and your team get used to the new approach to doing things. You should continually encourage employees to raise and evaluate ideas they think will help in the company’s progress.

If deemed viable, consider adopting the idea and testing it to see if it will help the organization become better and more efficient in its operations. 

You do not need to start from scratch and reinvent the wheel to instill a leadership mindset in everyone. You can pick up parts of the process, operation, or project that are working well, and gradually integrate new things on a trial basis until you get which are working and which are not for your situation.

Fostering Disruptive Teams

You cannot do things alone, so it’s best to have a disruptive team with the same mindset and vision as you do. Non-disruptive minds in the team will struggle and search for safety, stability, and conformity. However, having too many disruptive minds in the team can lead to disturbance since the majority tends to break conventions whenever possible. 

Having both disruptive and non-disruptive minds in the team is the healthier, more effective, and more sustainable way of doing things.

The mixture of personalities can create harmonious relationships necessary to build the best team for challenging tasks. 

For existing teams that can be difficult or impossible to modify, facilitating disruption workshops may help. This will help the members share their ideas, personalities, and outlook, and make it easier for everyone to be on the same page. Shared conversations like this can help the organization stay constantly disruptive without sacrificing the collaborative space.

Closing Thoughts About Developing a Disruptive Mindset to Become an Industry Leader

Having a disruptive mindset in business should not be considered a problem but rather an opportunity for exponential growth that seldom comes to companies who stay stubborn and unresponsive to change.

Change opens up pathways that can help you take the lead against competitors and establish a reputation for being innovative and revolutionary. 

Fostering a disruptive mindset in the company does not happen in a flash. It will take time for the approach to flourish and bear fruits. Sometimes, you will need outside help to transform your business and move forward toward your goals. 

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