Disruptive Initiatives Must be Well Thought and Carefully Executed to Avoid Chaos
Living through the Age of Disruption
We live in an age of disruption where everything from our way of life to the way we work and indeed, the human biology is being disrupted by technological advances happening at breakneck speed.
While disruption is an integral part of the capitalist and free market model where creative destruction is the norm rather than the exception, such disruption must not lead to chaos where the effects of such disruption are far from ideal and what they were intended for.
There are many examples of disruptive innovation and disruptive governmental policies as well as disruptive organizational changes that have had the opposite effect of what they were intended to achieve.
Disruption that is Poorly Executed
For instance, the much venerated TATA group of corporates initiated a leadership change by bringing in a relatively distant family member (breaking with tradition that was marked by immediate family members heading the group) as a means of transforming the conglomerate. However, as it transpired, the result was that after a few years, there was a very public falling out between the incumbent and the predecessor heads leading to much bad press and washing of dirty laundry in public that did no little damage to the brand image and brand equity in the group.
While this organizational change was well thought (at least according to the prevailing view at that time) the change was poorly executed. As a result of diverging opinions on how to grow the group further as well as differing perceptions on mergers and acquisitions, there was a biter parting of ways.
Successful Disruption that is Revolutionary and Transformative
Having said that, some disruptive initiatives lead to revolutionary and transformative effects on the way businesses and indeed the world operates. For instance, both the rolling out of the Windows Desktop Operating System as well as the Apple iPhone was instrumental in changing the game altogether.
Windows led to basic changes in the way corporates operated wherein routine and time consuming tasks were now automated as well as workflow processes were computerized. Indeed, it can be said that the Windows OS release ushered in the software revolution.
Similarly, the release of the iPhone by the Late Legendary Steve Jobs lead to a fundamental shift in the way we lead our lives by bringing in the world to our fingertips. Of course, the internet and the Smartphone revolutions converged with the release of the iPhone in the same manner in which the computing and hardware revolutions dovetailed with the release of the Windows OS.
What these two disruptive initiatives had in common was that they were well thought out approaches to transformative change wherein the individuals mentioned along with an army of dedicated and committed employees ensured that such innovation resulted in Millions of Hours of painstaking work and was underlined by creative inspirations that were truly game changing in nature.
As we know now, the execution was also well done with much attention to the details of the actual procedural aspects.
Difference Between Thoughtful and Well Thought Out Disruptions
Of course, sometimes disruptive initiatives can be very thoughtful it not well thought out in nature. Before you get confused, what we mean is that sometimes disruptive initiatives might emerge after much thought though the details are not well thought out.
For instance, the Demonetization Exercise carried out in India in November 2016 had the potential to be truly transformative except that the move was aimed at fundamental behavioral changes and upending the cash driven Indian Economy to the extent that some experts now believe that the whole exercise was a failure.
In other words, disruptive measures must not only be innovative or the result of creative insights but adequate thought must be given to how they would affect the ecosystem stakeholders who are impacted by the move.
Talking about Demonetization, it is also the case that the execution was poor which lead to unnecessary chaos and confusion some of which continues even now. Thus, one can be disruptive but, at the same time must be creatively destructive instead of causing chaos.
Having said that, the GST or the Goods and Services Tax change was both well thought out as well as carefully planned. Indeed, the change was more than a decade in the making with bipartisan consensus and the close cooperation of the Central and State Governments being the hallmark.
However, the initiatives was not executed well or rather, while the planning for the execution was foolproof, the intended execution was something else.
In other words, one cannot have everything and sometimes, the best thought out and planned moves can fail in execution and the most creative insights can lead to chaos.
The key takeaway here is that disruption and the after effects are simply unpredictable and hence, it is always a good idea to be “on the ball” and “ahead of the curve” so that as many after effects as possible are managed properly.
As the former Defense Secretary of the United States used to remark, there are Known Knowns, and Known Unknowns, and Unknown Unknowns. Thus, the trick is to plan for the first properly, execute diligently managing the second, and keep one’s fingers crossed for the third.
This means that while there are some things that we just cannot be prepared for, the fact remains that we must at least think through the things in our control and execute with the intention of managing the unknowns.
Authorship/Referencing - About the Author(s)
The article is Written By “Prachi Juneja” and Reviewed By Management Study Guide Content Team. MSG Content Team comprises experienced Faculty Member, Professionals and Subject Matter Experts. We are a ISO 2001:2015 Certified Education Provider. To Know more, click on About Us. The use of this material is free for learning and education purpose. Please reference authorship of content used, including link(s) to ManagementStudyGuide.com and the content page url.
- Change Management - Introduction
- The Need for Change Management
- Kinds of Change & Barriers to Change
- Pre-Requisites for Successful Change Management
- Overcoming Barriers to Change
- Senior Managers as Barriers to Change
- Reasons for Resistance to Change
- Individual and Organizational Sources of Resistance to Change
- Techniques for Overcoming Resistance to Change and Selection of Appropriate Technique
- Financial Crisis & Organizational Change
- Complexities in Driving Change
- Organizational Change and Managing Resistance to Change
- Catalysts in Organizational Change
- Creating Sustainable Change
- Top-Down versus Bottom-Up Change
- Fundamental Issues with the Top Down Approach in Change Management
- Role of HR in Change Management
- Innovation and Change Management
- Change Management Programs
- Some Ways to Actualize Change
- Importance of Middle Level Management
- Bureaucracy and Change
- Family Businesses vs Companies
- Change is the only Constant
- Different Types of Change
- What is Strategic Change ?
- Why First 100 Days Targets are a Myth ?
- The Changing Role of Management
- Exponential Change and What it means for Businesses and Workers
- Transactional vs Transformational Leadership in Change Management
- Organizational Learning and Change Management
- Organizational Vision, Mission, Strategy and Change Management
- Models/Approaches to Implement Change Management Programme
- Kurt Lewin’s Change Management Model: The Planned Approach to Organizational Change
- Kotter’s 8 step Model of Change
- Contingency Model of Change Management
- Mintzberg and Quinn’s Model of Change
- Scott and Jaffe Change Model
- Anderson & Anderson’s Change Model
- McKinsey 7S Change Model
- Transformational Change & Change Management
- Models of Transformational Change
- Organizational Change and Transition Management
- Determining Forces of Organizational Change
- Forces of Organizational Change: Planned vs. Unplanned Change and Internal & External Change
- Systems Model of Change Management and Continuous Change Process Model
- Importance of Communication in Change Management
- Action Research for Successful Organizational Change
- Psychological Contract and Change Management
- Emotional Competence Framework and Change Management
- Characteristics and Capabilities of Successful Change Agents
- Key Factors in Effective Change Management
- Battle Between Change Agents and Status Quo Interests in Every Organization
- Managing the Transition from Hierarchical to Network Organizational Structures
- Why it is Becoming Difficult to Change the Status Quo in Economies and Organizations?
- Disruptive Initiatives Must be Well Thought and Carefully Executed to Avoid Chaos
- Future Shock, Present Shock, and the Fourth Industrial Revolution
- The Changing Nature of Power in the Age of Networks
- How Organizations Must Learn to Deal with Radical, Disruptive, and Disorienting Change
- Driving Organizational Change by Embracing Agile and Facing the VUCA World
- How Relevant is the Corporate Planning Function in the Digital Age of Agile Organizations
- Paradigm Shift is Needed for Organizations to Succeed in the Digital Age
- The Organizational Challenges as the American Economy Transitions to the Digital Age