Disruption isn’t comfortable. It provokes change and disturbance to what we are in the habit of doing. Therefore, it’s inherently not comfortable. However, disruption in your business is critical and inevitable – so, perhaps it’s in our best interest to at least anticipate it?
It’s difficult to consider purposely disrupting or changing something that we are so accustomed to. Yet, as family business owners and members of family businesses, we need to think beyond the box we have put ourselves in or actually inherited—the preconceptions that have crusted around us as we’ve grown older—and break it all down. We need to break outside of the mental prison that we’re in and constantly be thinking about “what’s next,” no matter how successful we may be at any one time.
The fact is the lifespan of an average company can be captured in a bell curve – unless it reinvents itself continually in order to prevent itself from declining. This is particularly true with technology. As quickly as new tech rises, it is outpaced by even newer tech— and the timeframe between one innovation hitting the market and its better replacement is getting shorter and shorter. Value is being destroyed almost as quickly as it is being created, which can be good for a business that’s staying on its toes and constantly looking ahead for “what’s beyond what’s next,” but it is the death of any business not willing to look beyond its present success.
It is hard to look beyond the known. As much as we may tell ourselves that we need to think beyond how well our company is doing today and plan for future opportunities, it’s much easier to stick with the path that we’re familiar with. Disruption is uncomfortable, but it’s necessary if we’re going to evolve – and stay alive.
You may be like me and get stuck in comfort zones seeing the same things every day and revolving in the same circles. That is why it’s incredibly important to have trusted associates that can help you break out of your personal vacuum of reality – to help you consider new ideas and areas for growth. You won’t always agree with these individuals – you shouldn’t! It’s healthy to have differing ideas, it means various concepts are being discussed and considered. As Mahatma Gandhi said, “Honest disagreement is often a good sign of progress.”
Just remember, controversial thoughts are where innovation thrives. They were the origin of the telephone and the car, the airplane, and spaceships. By asking questions, by thinking beyond the given and looking at the possible (or even the impossible, because who’s to say what’s impossible today won’t become possible tomorrow?), we grow, and in growing, we thrive. Every business, in essence, is a dream focused on the wish for success and recognition. Innovation often comes from the desire to love what we do – and in creating that passion, we create something new.