Creativity, Innovation And Disruption?

“It was-is-what I was made for: disruption of routine.  Not pointless disruption.  Disruption with purpose.”  -Gordon MacKenzie ‘Orbiting the Giant Hairball’

There has been much talk in recent times in regards to creativity, innovation and disruption.  While many definitions abound in regards to these terms, we each still seem to have our own internal idea of what they are…and what they’re not.  And the goal of this piece is not to try and define them, but to maybe get you to put on a different lens and approach them from another perspective.

I believe we’ve come to see the three words not only working in unison, but in that exact order.

Creativity.  Innovation.  Disruption

Creativity comes first.  It is where ideas are spawned…those moments of insight when we’ve persevered through, where all the dot-connecting and cross-pollinating of ideas and thinking has led to something new, something novel, something wonderful…something we want to share with the world.

Which inevitably leads to innovation.  A willingness to put that idea out into the world, into action.  Sometimes it is just a small tweak that improves what we do…and other times, it is life-changing and mind-bending idea that rearranges how we think and do.

At which point, it becomes disruptive.  Disruptive in that it changes…changes what we buy, what we use, and even how we do things.

Creativity.  Innovation.  Disruption.

And yet, maybe we need to disrupt this order of things…

Maybe we need to rearrange this order of things and look at it from another perspective, with another lens.  Maybe, just maybe…we need to move disruption from the end to the front of the line.  Maybe, just maybe…disruption needs to come first.  Maybe, just maybe…we need to see it a bit different.

Disruption is not just about markets and products…it’s about our thinking, our ideas, and our mindsets.

Before we can get to creativity.  Before we can move towards innovation.  We have to be able to disrupt our own thinking and the way we look at things.

Which does not come naturally.  It is rather difficult, and sometimes even painful.  We have to be able to give up ‘old’ ways of thinking, in order that we make room for the ‘new’.  It is that unlearning, that deconstructing to make space for the ‘new’, not the ‘new’ itself, which we always tend to struggle with and fight against.

Which means that disruption not only requires an openness to the ‘new’, but an intentionality.  And a willingness…a willingness to explore the ‘new’ and the disruption of thinking and ideas that comes with it.  To be able to change course when necessary.  To remain agile.  To experiment and take chances.

So maybe, just maybe, we need to see it as…

Disruption.  Creativity.  Innovation

“Our creative genius is the fountainhead of originality.  It fires our compulsion to evolve.  It inspires us to challenge norms.  Creative genius is about flying to new heights on untested wings.  It is about the danger of crashing.  It is amorphous, magical, unmeasurable, and unpredictable.”  -Gordon MacKenzie ‘Orbiting the Giant Hairball’

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