We now know that disruptive innovation works, as there are some well-known examples of success stories. The catch is that disruptive innovation only works when it is done well. It’s an obvious thing to say but not an easy one to implement.
Disruptive ideas will never be realised without a change of attitude. Viewing these innovations through the lens of the current business model will inevitably create barriers for implementation. Reassess your processes and adapt them to allow room for disruption.
An agile approach is key to successful disruption, as it enables constant testing and reiterating. Often these innovations involve creating new markets or products, therefore much of the process relies on trusting the unknown. There will be no available pre-existing research or information to enable data-driven decisions, so intuition and creative discovery will be the necessary alternatives.
It can be easy to confuse the purpose of disruptive innovation as changing your customers and their attitudes. However, this is not the recommended approach; it should be about changing the market to help customers, not the other way around.
Disruptive innovation will not always be successful – it is the very nature of disruption for it to be a bit turbulent along the way. Nevertheless, in experiencing a series of innovations that are not wholly successful, you are building the foundations for a new and profitable business model in the long-run.