How Disruptive became Cool

Disruptive behaviour is, not surprisingly, unwelcome in most fields of activity. The most cited example of a colleague who is disruptive, and an unsettling and counter-productive influence, presents an obvious problem for a leader.

However, disruption is beginning to lose its traditional negative reputation. Especially if it applies to things rather than people, disruption is increasingly seen as normal and positive. So much so that it's often mentioned without any direct reference to the things affected - almost inherently good and free of context. How has this happened?

It largely reflects greater awareness of disruption as a key element in innovation. Disruptive technologies and processes can rapidly transform markets and promote new and unexpected business models. Of course, this enthusiasm depends somewhat on who is actually disrupting who, and also who gets the benefit - so maybe there is some context after all.


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