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Digital Disruption by James McQuivey

Digital Me

Like it or not, the pace of innovation has never been so fast. Kids armed with the IPhone SDK (software development kit) are now capable of knocking out workable games and applications quickly. Sharp people of all ages are re-thinking basic processes in each industry, discovering how to get work done much cheaper faster and with less effort than ever before.

In Digital Disruption, Forrester Research’s James McQuivey argues that change and disruption are now inevitable, and the best defense is to disrupt your own industry before you get disrupted. Nice eh?

The key is to remain light on your feet, nimble, and keep looking for free/low cost ways to replace services that previously were expensive or required extensive effort. You don’t need to write code to be disruptive. Frequently it is enough to just stay on top of the latest open source systems, and be unafraid to constantly improve your work process. In the past people would learn a process and replicate it for years. Now the best employees, contractors and managers think “Why do we do this? Is it essential? What can we cut out and still produce the best possible product or service?”

One of the hardest ideas is to welcome change. If you are managing a company, let people know you are wide open to innovative new ways of getting the job done. If you have ideas for management, don’t hesitate to bring them to attention. In larger and older organizations the resistance to change and improved process may be stiff, but if they don’t change nimble upstarts will quickly be making life very difficult. That is Mr. McQuivey’s insight: If you get into the habit of change, daily improvements in efficiency, and disrupting your organization from within, you will greatly lengthen the life of your company. As a small business owner, I know this is really hard, but I have got into the habit of reading 1-3 new books on topics closely to distantly related to business every month. It makes work so much more interesting and rewarding and keeps me nimble.

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