Did the towns of Cooke City and Gardiner, Montana develop contingency plans in advance that include catastrophic disruption and historic infrastructure failures? The 2022 summer appears to be headed in a very different than anticipated. How do they find their way forward from the flooding and storm damage that has made travel into the towns and Yellowstone National Park uncertain? How do we plan with certainty if we cannot predict the future? Perhaps we need greater flexibility if the journey we seek is worthy of wayfinding.
British painter, David Hockney used the pandemic to focus his artistic expertises on his local landscape in Normandy. Being unable to travel and find sources of inspiration, David looked out the window and made it his masterpiece. Disruption might change our itinerary but it does not keep us from asking, ‘how might I….’
Disruptions, delays, and dislocation create demand. Supply and demand may not be the leading evaluation frames for the social sector. There is numerous points of overlap in the visions and missions of many causes. However, groups find ultimately find a niche or fail to sustain their efforts. Occasionally, the delivery of services is so disrupted that the demand far exceeds supply. The challenge is to understand when it is a short-term reaction and when it represents a systemic change.
Brian Solis presented on the role of technology and disruption at the Ed Sessions. His presentation provided a pathway to an audience seeking educational reform. Brian’s core premise on change was that there are three types of change:
Iteration= Another chapter of what already exists
Innovation= A new method or approach
Disruption= Interruption of existing patterns
Brian used the TV remote control as an example of a piece of technology that desperately needs disruption but instead has only seen iteration. TV designers have added more buttons, color, and maximized the buttons per inch on existing platforms. Perhaps only the new Apple TV remote starts that process of disrupting a long line of poorly conceived iterations.
When considering our enterprise’s programs and services it could be valuable to frame our conversations through the lenses of iteration, innovation, and disruption. As I board a flight this morning I believe that the airline industry is ready for major disruption. Southwest and Jet Blue innovated a couple years ago but were not able to disrupt. Uber disrupted getting to and from the airport and is now looking to iterate their platform. Leading international airports are innovating. The airports are passenger centric from arrival to security and onto boarding. The airports themselves have become part of the destination and employ staff members committed to a remarkable experience for the travelers.
What level of change are you working on? Which one is required to achieve your mission? Brian challenged us to not miss our Kodak Moment, when we lose sight of what is relevant. We must take a human approach to change and shift from sympathy to empathy in order to disrupt. Innovation is deeply personal and the distance between our aspiration and vision is proportional to our ability to shift perspectives.
The journey to disruption may be lonely but fundamental to our ability to serve and add value.