Disruption means an interruption in the regular flow or sequence of something (Wikipedia 2012). Organizations and managers in general avoid uncertainty. To make sense of conflicting signals and irrational behavioral temptations, they impose rules, routines, standard operating procedures, industry traditions and practices, information handling rules, risk avoiding agreements in order to reduce uncertainty. These mechanisms have a tendency to put the business into automatic cruise control mode! An agent of disruption proactively and constructively disturbs, interrupts, and challenges these organizational mechanisms to integrate more creativity, mindfulness and awareness about the environment.
So what does that mean in practical terms. I am using disruption to inject fun, unconventional ways of thinking, new theoretical lenses, new approaches into business. That means trying new techniques, diffusing novel knowledge, engaging employees with fun activities (casual days, theme days, creative brainstorming) and also changes to the traditional rules and regulations (a month without PowerPoint was very popular for example).
The critical thing here is to make this disruption an unexpected event, a fun and exciting process and also to continuously “wake up” the organization! Imagine walking in a meeting with a crazy hat. Making people laugh is the best recipe to relax them, release their positive energy and wake them up from automatic thinking mode.