Daily Inspiration: “Rules for disruptive success: Bold beats old, fast beats slow, small beats big, serendipity beats strategy….”


“Rules for disruptive success: Bold beats old, fast beats slow, small beats big, serendipity beats strategy….” – Futurist Jim Carroll

Your business model won’t look the same in ten years, nor will your industry. The disruptors are the sharks in the water, circling around you, eager to pounce upon your moment of weakness. They’re fast, agile, bold, and imaginative. Maybe you should start to think and act as they do!

A common theme for many of the keynotes I’ve given on creativity and innovation over the years has played into several key concepts that define some of the new rules for their disruptive success; it’s by emulating these ideas that you can get out of your disruptive funk and move forward.

  • bold beats old: all around you right now, there are now countless numbers of people, not to mention startups, who are out to mess up your business model. They’re making bold steps, aggressive moves, and big decisions. This is not a time for timidity; it’s a time for BIG ideas and the pursuit of the offbeat. Stop thinking in small idea bubbles; blow them up and think BIGGER!
  • fast beats slow: we have never lived in a period of time that has involved such rapid change with business models, competitive landscapes, product and service innovation, challenging consumers, a new political dynamic, and countless other new realities. Disruptors move fast, get things done, and keep getting things done. Emulate them – pick up your pace!
  • small beats big: disruptors are not encumbered by a big complicated structure that bogs them down with slow-moving organizational sclerosis – they move at the speed of action. Consider the idea of a small-startup structure within your large organization to give creative small teams the opportunity to be tiny!
  • serendipity beats strategy: momentary idea explosions drive new discoveries within disruptors, and so while your careful strategic planning combined with detailed roadmaps forward can be a critical step in adapting to the future, it won’t do anything to help you capture the idea of the moment (ignoring FOMO fads!)
  • flexibility beats structure: successful innovators have mastered the ability to form fast teams: they know that their ability to quickly scale resources to tackle fast-emerging opportunities or challenges is the only way that they can win in the future. There is one word for your future: agile. Live it, breathe it, align to it.
  • imagination beats vision: for a disruptor, no idea is too crazy, no concept is too offbeat, and any excuse that it can’t be done is met with a staggering indifference. Spend less time on grandiose vision statements and ponderous ‘future roadmaps‘; act fast on imaginative ideas, the spur-of-the-moment concepts that happen at a random time and which can be developed into a future opportunity.
  • odd beats boring: the very idea of disruption is that it goes against ‘conventional wisdom.’ Listen to the marginalized rebels around you. Their aggressive attitude toward changing the future can make them rather unlikable by many, their ideas are often what’s necessary to bring a fresh form of thinking to your organization.
  • intensity beats apathy: the disruptors around you have a team that acts different from yours – they’re engaged, motivated, and determined! You need to fire up your crowd – nothing great was ever achieved by a lack of enthusiasm!
  • timing beats prediction: it’s not the trend that matters – it’s the timing of its arrival that counts. Spend less time studying the trend and more time determining when you should act upon it
  • action triumphs over indecision:  Disruptors get things done. Do you? Start your own disruption before you find yourself disrupted! Action is the drug that you need to be addicted to!

For more on this thinking, check out the ‘innovation’ tag on my blog.


THE FUTURE BELONGS TO THOSE WHO ARE FAST features the best of the insight from Jim Carroll’s blog, in which he
covers issues related to creativity, innovation and future trends.