Every age spawns words that are central to the thinking of that age. 'Disrupt' is one such.
It used to be a word that had a negative hue to it. Not so any more. If you were a disruptor a few decades ago, well, you had an air of notoriety. Now, every half disruptor walks the earth like there is an invisible unicorn in his shoe.
Even as ‘disrupt’ gains fame and the ‘disruptor’ emerges as king, there is little space for the ‘disrupted’. They fade from memory without a whimper, taking with them their heydays, the promise their potential offered and in the startup world, VC money.
There are many occasions where I have wished the disrupted got more attention. The winner’s podium is dynamic and its bright light casts a dark shadow on the many lessons that the lives of the vanquished tell.
Once in a while, a fallen hero stands up and tries to give a better picture and context. Perhaps, just perhaps, the picture shifts a bit in the mind. Whether the picture shifts or stays firm is not the point. What counts is our own willingness to sit down, listen, consider, examine and make our own conclusions. To go beyond the obvious certainty and consider other angles, is key to making sense of the times we live in. Sometimes these alter our certainties and at other times, adds certainty to it!
Those were my thoughts as I watched Indrajit Gupta’s conversation with Rajat Gupta. I have heard Indrajit say that Rajat Gupta’s book is well written and gripping. As I watched the interview and the changing contours of Rajat Gupta's face, I thought they told their own story. The fallen hero making his own case, holds out a bagful of thoughts for consideration.
To continue on the theme of fallen heroes, somewhere nestled in my colleague NS Ramnath’s ‘This Week in Disruptive Tech’ column is a link to the Google Cemetery. Sixty-five dead products that were born in the Google stable, now dead and mostly forgotten, get featured. They serve as a stark reminder of the ruthlessness of disruption and the need for continuous reinvention.
Sniffing the wind, spotting opportunities, letting go of what has always worked for us, are all ingredients for continued success. The fight to stay relevant is a battle of choices that we fight every moment. Disruption is always in the news and hogs all the attention while relevance dons work overalls. Disruption and relevance are words that hold a world between them! Your world and mine.
The former McKinsey chief’s tell-all book is an attempt to offer his side of a story that sent shockwaves around the world. But the book is unlikely to sway his detractors. In an interview, Gupta shares some of the lessons he learnt from the crisis—and a lot more. (By Indrajit Gupta. Read Time: 5 mins. Video Play Time: 44:43 mins)
March 26, 2019: A roundup of news and perspective on disruptive technology. In this issue: Enhancing human performance, designing for the future, consent brokers. (By NS Ramnath. Read Time: 3 mins)
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From Our Archives
Five principles that can help business leaders keep up with rapid change. An excerpt from—'No Ordinary Disruption: The Four Global Forces Breaking All the Trends'
McKinsey's Erik Roth says any company can have one-off wins, but the real challenge is how do you do it on a continual basis? (By Indrajit Gupta)