I detest using cliches, but on this topic one probably needs to use a definition at the very least to start some debate or thinking….Here goes anyway: What is DISRUPTION?
As a verb: Interrupt (an event, activity, or process) by causing a disturbance or problem.
Synonyms: throw into confusion, throw into disorder, throw into disarray, cause confusion/turmoil in, play havoc with, derange, turn upside-down, make a mess of;
It’s pretty bizarre when you read this definition that this adjective is used in such a negative way...
Where would we be today without streaming services – Netflix? Can you imagine not checking your smartphone 40 times a day to voyeuristically observe people on social media – Facebook, Instagram or even LinkedIn? UBER-ization has fundamentally shifted the old transportation paradigms so much that within a few years it’s become a verb like to “Google”?
High speed broadband (mobile) has essentially helped 3rd world countries leapfrog decades of slow fixed-line roll-outs. Without mega-shifters like Elon Musk and TESLA / SolarCity / SpaceX would we be even considering the real possibility of moving away from fossil fuels to the degree that we are, nevermind even contemplating trips to MARS!?
There are so many examples of new businesses and technologies that have added positively and massively to the development of our species. So why then are people so afraid of change? Is it too risky or scary for more traditional / conservative folk to try to avoid the slow evolution of man and skip a few steps? Or is it just fear of the unknown and where these new paths may us to?
Playing “safe” and not embracing what is possible has led to many cultures feeling angry at this radical thinking. In 2016 we saw the bookmakers making millions by betting against BREXIT. We saw the “silent majority” turn tail at the polls and elect the biggest disruptor to the highest office.
Back in the fifties, sociologist Lewis Coser advocated that change is good. However, in closely knit groups in which there exists a high degree of interaction and personal involvement, there is a tendency to suppress conflict. This suppression of frustration can play out in quite dangerous ways if there is no easy way to “vent” or debate. As we have seen recently in the anti-Trump rallies, there can often be occasions for hostility.The acting out of such feelings is sensed as a danger to intimate relationships, and hence there is a tendency to suppress rather than to allow expression of hostile feelings.
So if we are to embrace this disrʌption, what needs to change at a personal and societal level?
My view is adopting a new mindset – one that comes out of the closet and with glee screams out that the only constant in this new age, is CHANGE. As soon as you come to terms with living out on the “skinny branch” and that life will forever be unpredictable, you may start enjoying the roller-coaster ride. It certainly may be scary at times, but wow it can be fun!