Join the disruption!

“What keywords have been uppermost in business commentary so far this year?”

In searching for a topic for this article, I asked this question at the recent Franchise Expo in Sydney. And there were three clear favourite responses – ‘change,’ ‘innovation,’ and ‘fear.’ 

Change because we hear it constantly, innovation because it is ‘the’ current buzzword, and fear because business seems to be preoccupied with it, stifling change, innovation and thus, future growth. It was even the topic of a recent Tony Robbins podcast. I am convinced the world is gripped with fear, a post-GFC hangover that is ‘rusted on’ and businesses have to work together to right the ship or we face an economic and social Titanic. Interestingly, change and innovation are the two key drivers that account for the phenomenal success of franchising.

My next question was “What’s the topic that’s having the biggest impact on business right now?” It’s my favourite, in fact my hobby – ‘disruption.’

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Change is our way of life and we have to use it as a driving force for growth, and disruption is the new ‘black’. 

It is not going to go away. Disruptive marketing is trending and I have found examples across the spectrum inevitably impacting every business very soon if not already. If you doubt this, look at the impact worldwide that Irish minnow airline Ryanair had when launching super cut-price airfares in 1991. They put the industry in a spin and today they’re the biggest and most profitable airline in Europe. 

Business needs to respond super-quick and not get caught out like the taxi industry with Uber or B&Bs and hotels with AirBNB – and there are new ones launching every week! But you don’t have to be a biggie to launch new ideas–-take the classic disruptor Richard Branson, a student launching Virgin with the scatty idea of his magazine followed by his record shops. And look at him today! 

So come on - how can you be a disruptor in your industry?

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Here are my 10 Simple Rules of Disruption–- start NOW, just by focusing on what the market wants.

  1. Work and that you need to take the things which don’t on the Reject Fear: if you can’t accept that everything will not chin so you can celebrate the things that do work, then you best accept the inevitable decline and burial of your business.
  2. Soothsayers and gremlins in your head. Do not be afraid to Ignore the knockers: don’t listen to the negative be different, take on the challenges with relish, because this is where the opportunities lie.
  3. With positive people, work with entrepreneurs and cultivate a Don’t Be A Loner: no one succeeds on their own. Mix group of people who are excited by the challenge both inside and outside your business. This critically includes your supporters and your critics.
  4. Niche, Niche And Re--Niche: ensuring your demographic relates to what you offer, who continually focus on you are and what you believe in. You are looking for the people who do not need selling to, people who ‘just get it.’
  5. Simplify Everything You Do: Play dumb. better to listen to than Albert Einstein saying “The art of Who simplicity is genius. Simple people see as simple what others see as complex.” Big takeaway here is the simpler it is, then the easier it is for people to understand and implement, and for them to help you grow.
  6. Be Flexible: relentlessly for refinements. It worked for NASA and in the It’s all about continual change and hunting same way it will work for you. The huge blessing of digitisation mean so many things can be fixed so quickly.
  7. True work of art and your tribe will follow you Be Creative: Make everything you do a –- just look at Steve Jobs and the mistakes Apple’s followers have willingly forgiven! Looking at VW’s recent sales growth tells me they are going still growing after their mea culpas.
  8. Embrace Risk: takers – it’s really that simple, nothing to add. Growth makers are risk. Be a rolling stone and deny moss room to grow.
  9. Kill The Ego your mistakes and encourage honest and –- To embrace change accept valuable contributions from others. You need to let go of ego and be more accepting of criticism as a leader.
  10. Do It: Don’t linger. the ducks lined up and aren’t brave enough If you wait to get all to get moving, then have the common sense to give the decision
    to someone who will. Or join the expanding queue at the gates of the business cemetery!

For best practice, when it comes to disruption and growth, franchising is frequently mentioned. It’s a classic crucible of innovation and disruption, always has been and always will be. But mysteriously, this great value within the industry is ignored by business and government alike. The truth is, there is nowhere that such a low investment can get you to market so quickly, so simply, and so effectively. And often it is through embracing change and refining the franchise by embracing the collective intelligence that comes from the unique dynamic of franchisor and franchisee sharing the common good.