Disrupt Yourself before Anyone Else has a Chance

When trying to solve new problems or capitalize on new opportunities, individuals and organizations often look inward and apply familiar mental models, tools and techniques that have worked in the past. When these old strategies don’t work, these same individuals often keep trying to make them work — maybe if they just use an old strategy with more gusto, things will pan out. But they don’t.

No industry lasts forever; no technology stays the same for long; no solution is universal. In the words of early 19th Century French philosopher William Joseph Chaminade, “New times call for new methods.”

You advance by discarding old routines, stale product lines, and ineffective relationships. Static organizations seldom survive.

When you refuse to consider making any changes that might disrupt your established business, technological and societal changes will eventually eat away at your core. Any organization that fails to innovate is on the road to obsolescence. Or, worse, irrelevance.

You may not want to ‘upset the apple cart’ or ‘kill the golden goose.’ And it takes immense effort to overcome the inertia of “That’s the way we’ve always done it.” But if you don’t, somebody else will.

Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there. – Will Rogers

Practice Proactive Obsolescence by replacing your own successful products or services with fundamentally new solutions that provide a significant leap in customer value. In other words, it’s better to be the disrupter than the disrupted—even if you have to disrupt yourself before anyone else has a chance.

Committing to generating value for your customers and focusing on continuously adding value to your customers will always serve you well. Clinging to the products you currently produce or the services you currently provide will not.

Bob Roitblat
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Bob Roitblat

Bob Roitblat is a Leadership Capabilities Expert and TEDx speaker. He helps organizations ignite creativity, overcome challenges and capitalize on opportunities. Bob is also the president of Mainsail Consulting Group, a business-advisory firm. Also connect with Bob on LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook.

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Bob Roitblat
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