On the face of it, a toolkit for disruption is oxymoronic. The point of disruption is that it breaks current business practice and creates new markets. Any toolkit will need to be based on understandable, existing models and markets, so inherently could not be disruptive.
Yet there are some tools we can use to help drive innovation, and create opportunities for disruption. Here are a few….
1. Canvases: Lean Canvas
, Shared Value Canvas
and the traditional Business Model Canvas
can be used to help drive understanding of audiences and markets. You need to deploy the right canvas at the right time, but these are more effective than a traditional business plan in exposing opportunity for change.
2. Horizontal Roundtables: Usually protected by confidentiality, a horizontal roundtable involves taking representative decision makers from a range of businesses involved in a single end user experience - whether that’s in finance, retail, hospitality, business services, travel, healthcare and so on. So in a finance discussion you may have representatives from banks, investors, insurers, brokers, businesses seeking loans, accountancy firms, political representation and legal representation. These can help expose shared problems.
3. Creative problem solving techniques: Not used nearly enough, creative thinking techniques can help bring seemingly disconnected concepts together and drive inspiration
4. Hackathons, challenges, and investor pitches: These are now established and reliable sources of new ideas and processes. But they need to addressing problems worth solving - not just acting as marketing vehicle for corporate innovation.
It’s important to note that these tools help drive disruption, but they are not a guarantee for disruption. Indeed, any organisation claiming to produce disruptive winners in a cookie-cutter program is definitely misleading its clients. But it is worth getting the basics right - creating opportunities for change.