How will your idea change the world? In an industry saturated with ideas, this question is invaluable.
Last week, teams had their outlook shaken up by a series of fantastic presentations. Nick Rowney, a renowned speaker, set the scene with his session on disruption. The world is a chaotic and messy place, and Nick’s approach is to tackle it head-on: ‘The best way to manage disruption’, he says, ‘is to be disruptive’.
A similar philosophy was channelled by Alexandra Watkins, branding guru and founder of the name-creating company, Eat My Words. As evidenced by the name of her extremely successful startup, Alexandra’s job is to cultivate disruptive, clever names with personalities.
Yet disruption isn’t just about product and image; in fact, the most important disruption is in our mind. In a presentation on the psychology of performance as an entrepreneur, Cameron Gallagher gave teams an entirely new perspective on the power of our mind. Together, we trialled the 2 minute Swish technique, which boils down to these steps:
- Decide on a behaviour you’d like to change.
- Picture how you normally behave in this situation. What are you thinking about? How are you feeling?
- Now visualise the way you’d like to behave. How would your beliefs and thoughts differ? How does it feel to behave in this new way?
- Put these two, vivid mental images beside each other. Now imagine the new, desired behaviour is a fast-moving train. Picture it smashing through the old image and shattering it.
- Sit comfortably with this new behaviour – revel in how it feels.
So, the challenge and the tools had been given to our teams. The question still remained: how were their ideas going to change the world? I sat down with two of our companies to delve into the disruption they will cause.
Dexibit, a tool for data-driven analysis for the cultural sector, has set themselves an admirably ambitious goal. Angie, the CEO, says their mission is to fuse the past and the future by connecting museums and art galleries with the digital wave. They are at the cutting edge of the industry: collecting data that has never been collected before, using algorithms that have never been used before, visualising data that has never been visualised before – Dexibit is going to provide an entirely new perspective and lens on the industry. What is important to Angie and the company is that this disruption builds positively on what already exists. The industry will continue to apply its own lenses that have been gathered over the past 1000 years, but they will now be able to apply an additional, digital perspective. Angie is incredibly excited about this, and her passion fuels this disruptive vision and inspires faith in its ability to change the world.
Wireless Guard, a company which provides a device that monitors whether windows and doors are locked or unlocked, aims to switch the perspective of the security industry from reaction-based to preventative. In Auckland alone, there were 23,000 burglaries during 2015. Now picture this: the constant worry weighing on your mind about whether or not you have locked up disappears; burglars can no longer get in your open windows; the number of burglaries dwindles and you feel safe about your belongings. A changed world? I think so.
The key message from all the speakers and teams is clear: think big and aim to throw the world off balance with the scale and originality of your idea; break through barriers instead of shying away from them. The teams have accepted the challenge – will you?