You have no choice but to operate in a world shaped by globalization and the information revolution. There are two options: adapt or die. – Andy Grove
The first MP3 player I had was slightly bigger than the size of my thumb and it held about 40 minutes worth of music. It was small, the headphones were cheap and I only used it to work out. About eight years ago, Steve Jobs introduced iPods and made the world think, why would I ever need 300 songs available on the go? Then, the iPhone came out and allowed you to have more than 1,000 songs in your pocket at all times. Can you even imagine going a day without your phone now?
Disruptive innovation is here to stay; in fact, it’s always been here and will definitely be here as we move into the future.
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I come from a world and generation where you would steal or buy milk crates because they were the perfect size to store your album collections. Seriously, you would go to people’s homes and they would have 20+ milk crates of albums stacked up. A DJ would show up to a wedding with 50 milk crates of music to do his job. And that really wasn’t all that long ago. So, if I can get onboard with disruptive innovation, you can too.
Today, my new iPhone 6 is only a third of the way full and I have 3800 songs, plus podcasts, movies and TV shows at my fingertips. Apple has completely disrupted media as we know it. We no longer have videos or DVDs in our homes – everything is digital.
Of course, there are people who would say that Steve Jobs didn’t invent those concepts. Maybe not – but he certainly disrupted them for the better. In fact, Apple made the concepts both incredible and accessible at the same time.
Think about the last time you were in a meeting, I bet almost every single person had an iPhone, iPad or laptop in front of them. I bet DJs are carrying around significantly fewer milk crates now too. The world has completely changed and will continue to completely change every day from here on out. As a leader, you have to decide if you are going to be an agent of the change or a victim of change. Sadly, anyone who believes that they don’t have to change is probably already irrelevant.
Question: What can you do to embrace disruptive innovation in your leadership?