5 ways to get really disruptive—for good.

Kim McMullen
Flipside Insights

Disruptive. It’s become a bit of a buzzword in business these days. But we still like it.

Because being disruptive is a good thing. And I don’t mean stirring up shit just for the sake of it. That’s more jerk-ish (and juvenile) than disruptive. It’s also a bit of a dick move. So… don’t be that kind of disruptor. Please.

Admirable disruption requires decision-makers, teams, and organizations to be brave, bold, and unapologetic in the name of doing what’s right—for the client, the brand, and the world. Screw the consequences! This is disruption for good. And it’s really darn exciting.

It’s not easy to shun the status quo. It’s unpopular to question the norm and to go left when everyone is going right. It’s unsettling to share your message to an audience of 10 and 250 empty chairs. But that’s disruption. It percolates. It starts small. And the movement grows.

A little Disruptive Behaviour 101:

Of course, like Thomas Edison said, “There are no rules here. We’re trying to achieve something.” These are a few disruptive tricks we’ve picked up over the years. Use them or make your own. Disruption is subjective. 

1. Call the kettle black
Get real with yourself and your business. Tell it like it is. No sugar coating. No waffling. Dancing around problems is really inefficient. If you’re not the best, admit it. If you’re not going to be the best, then own third place like a boss. Disruptors don’t pretend to be something they’re not.

2. Stop looking at your customers as numbers 
The people who buy your products and use your services are just that: People. They’re not “80/20 male/female split with average income, post-secondary education, and 1.25 kids”. They are human beings who care about a lot of things—including your brand. So be the company that gets to know your customers. Build relationships. Treat them as humans not dollars. Be the company that is loved. Because you’re just damn loveable.

3. If it doesn’t feel good, don’t do it
Even if the money is good. Even if you promised you would. Don’t do it. Disruptors never sell their souls. Even when the price is lucrative.

4. Go balls out
Not literally, please. You’ll get arrested. I mean: be gutsy in your approach to your work. Do what you believe to be right even if it’s not what’s expected, even if your team called you crazy, even if it’s never been done before. Do it. Because you believe in it.

5. Play.
Doesn’t matter if you run a law firm or an amusement park, play. Have fun. Be fun. Find fun in what you do. Disruptors like dance breaks and laughter.

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Kim McMullen

Kim gets up before the sun, drinks green juice on conference calls, says Bam! when she's proud of the team, and solves marketing challenges on mountain tops.