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Winning Words

Disruption can be just the thing to shake off unproductive ways


It is probably fair to say that none of us likes to be disrupted. We really don't like to be disrupted when we are engaged in a project or important conversation. Untimely disruptions in our workflow or in our conversations can even lead us to the point of frustration and anger.

In 1995 the term "disruptive technology" was introduced to the business world. And following "disruptive technology" came "disruptive force," and "disruptive innovation." All pointing toward the development of a product or service that will disrupt the status quo in the way we do business. These would usually start out small or slowly, and then change the way the entire world does business, communicates, thinks, and behaves.

As I listened to a speaker talk about the concept of disruptiveness in the business world, and even for the general population, I couldn't help but think of my own status quo or comfort zone. What could I do in my own life that would be disruptive to the way I go about working and living? After all, I really am a routine kind of guy. I usually do not deviate from my day-to-day plans as they have been successful so far. I know what I like and what I don't like, and I know what my goals are and what I would still like to achieve.

And as I listened to the speaker talking about the aspects of disruption and the positive impact of disruption, I also thought about a book I had read by Marshall Goldsmith, "What Got You Here Won't Get You There." Great book if you haven't read it yet.

After the conference I came home and started to think about my belief systems and how they impact my personal and professional world. And I had to ask myself if maybe I have started to develop self-limiting beliefs. Beliefs that were so ingrained in my everyday routine that perhaps they needed a little disruption. And although I talked about disruptive technology, disruptive force, and disruptive innovation, I decided that the disruption I needed most in my life was to just break out of and away from my routine. I wanted something that could start out small and slow, and then take traction, and build momentum over time. Something that would help me achieve a higher level of success in my personal life, my business life, and my spiritual life.

So in the past the word "disruption" or "being disrupted" always carried a kind of negative connotation for me. Now I welcome it, I look for new ways and ideas of doing even the simplest of tasks. Although usually very curious by nature, the whole idea of looking for productive disruptions in my life has led me even greater curiosity and I find myself asking even more questions than I normally would because now instead of avoiding disruptions I am seeking them out. Not just any disruptions, but productive disruptions.

So how about you? Are you benefiting from the disruptive technologies, forces, and innovations that continue to be found or developed? Could you use a little productive disruption in your own life? Either way I would love to hear all about it as gotonorton@gmail.com. And when we can allow ourselves to be open to new ideas and ways of doing things at home or at work, it really will be a better than good week.

Michael Norton is a resident of Castle Rock, the former president of the Zig Ziglar Corporation, a strategic consultant and a business and personal coach.

Michael Norton


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