Disruption? Stop it.  28th November, 2016

Those who know me well know that I am easily swayed out of the office with the promise of good wine and sponsorship chat.  Not only am I geeky like that (I could quite literally talk about sponsorship for days), I think it’s a crucial part of working in an industry that is shifting so quickly – you really need to know what is going on, how other people are navigating through what they deem is engagement with their clients, what challenges they have and how they are overcoming them.  I find these chats both motivating and relatable.

Except when it comes to disruption.

Don’t get me wrong, we all love Uber.  And yes, we all wish we came up with the Stratosphere idea.  But to continue waxing lyrical with the ‘disrupt or die’ mentality is not progressive, nor very helpful.  Equally when you consider Uber was just an idea to solve a problem – and not generated from a think tank.  To expect entire organisations to fundamentally stop their day jobs to begin to disrupt is not feasible.  To expect entire organisations to fully fund external consultants to come into their business to figure out how to disrupt them without an understanding of how that disruption will drive their bottom line is even more ridiculous.

I do believe in the value of disruption – but disruption with a purpose, and within the constraints of real life challenges.

Furthermore, in order to disrupt and have the mental capacity to begin to think about disrupting there needs to be space, time and most importantly a motivation.  I often say that innovation is borne out of necessity, but to innovate before it becomes necessary is the holy grail.  In order to achieve this, I believe that inspiration and capacity building through a shift in mind-set in stages is much more realistic and practical.  Empowering and collaborating in small areas of the business and building from there.  This isn’t typically how most people identify or recognise disruption.  However, I think if you looked a little harder, you’d find it is happening – even in industries as stagnant as sport sponsorship.

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