Disruption: breaking down the workplace buzzword
In a nutshell, positive disruption is corporate terminology for changing things up and solving problems from a new perspective.
It is closely linked to another buzzword, innovation.
The most commonly used example of disruption is ride-sharing mobile app Uber, where the creators disrupted the taxi industry by solving the problem of expensive transport and tackling it from a peer-to-peer perspective.
Despite disruption often coming in the form of new technologies, a Randstad survey reveals more than four in five Australians are unconcerned by the idea of technological advances affecting their job in the future.
Technology futurist Shara Evans says it is essential to embrace changes and plan ahead.
“We are already seeing robots performing concierge tasks within the retail space and the future workplace will see humanoid-type robots with greater physical capabilities,” she says.
Although Australia is already innovating and disrupting, many other countries are well ahead. INSEAD’s Global Innovation Index 2017 ranks Australia 23rd in the world, down from 19th last year and behind New Zealand, which ranked 21st.
Switzerland and Sweden took first and second place.
Juanita Wheeler, organiser of TEDxBrisbane and founder of consulting firm Full & Frank, says the best way to become a disrupter is to read.
“The greatest minds and the people most innovative and creative and continuously looking for better solutions across all aspects of life are people who read,” she says.
“They might see an idea in architecture and apply it in science or see an idea in a travel company and apply it to foreign aid funding.”
Juanita Wheeler, of TEDxBrisbane, says reading is the key to disruption and innovation. Picture: Tim Marsden
She recommends reading research articles from universities as well as keeping up-to-date on science, technology and current affairs.
“The more widely you read, the more inquisitive and creative your ideas become,” she says.
“It’s completely out of vogue to some extent but to me it’s everything. The beauty of it is that reading is free.”
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