How to create an organisation of disrupters

Ramesha Perera
Wed 24 Jul

We are now in the fourth Industrial Revolution, traversing the next economic frontier. This is an age of convergence, with unprecedented technological advancements that are increasing human longevity, making internet available for all, melding human and artificial intelligence, and even colonizing Mars.

As progress rushes forward all companies should be figuring out not only how to stay relevant but how to become the kind of company that disrupts the market. 

That being said, embracing disruption is easier for some companies than it is for others. When it comes to actually disrupting the market, startups operate at a bit of an advantage when compared to larger companies because startups are typically born out of identifying a need that other, more established companies have clearly not met. A startup must produce the kind of innovative, game-changing products, services or ideas that fundamentally change the way we live or work. Otherwise, it’s likely to fail and be swallowed up by another company with better name recognition.

Startups are also usually smaller and more nimble and are thus able to avoid unnecessary bureaucracy. Any innovation can be killed by the kind of bureaucracy found in larger companies with more management levels and strict processes. 

So how can you create an organisation of disrupters? Team Tony has the answers:


1. Understand what's Changing


The first factor is the direct impact of technology on work. A new report by McKinsey says the expected automation of of jobs in Australiaup is set to rise to 46 per cent by 2030. 

This isn’t all doom and gloom, what it means is that many of us will find ourselves needing to look for new jobs and/or redefine ourselves at work.



The second factor is the shifting global workforce population. Of course, the baby boomers are retiring (or staying longer than their predecessors) and the millennials and Gen Z are entering and changing the workplace.

It is expected that in the next 5-7 years, 3 billion people who have never had access to the internet will be connected, and the entrepreneurial and educational opportunities it provides will be coming online.

What will competition look like then? Additionally, there is a massive trend toward freelance work. 



Finally, the economy, at some point, there will be another economic crash - it's just the nature of the economic cycle. 
If any one of these things were to happen on their own, disruption would occur. All of them together will create a tsunami of change and  that can mean opportunity for all of us – if we understand how to navigate it.


2. Our Mindset


The most important mindset distinction is that we have choice and agency over how we decide to view the disruption. We can be captive to the circumstances, wishing that things would go back to the way they were – or the way we thought they were. Or, we can take the role of captains of our own destinies, and ask ourselves the critical question, “Given all of this (change/disruption/confusion), what do I want to create?” and then set about the business of creating that.


So much of how we are taught to learn and how we need to be in the world focuses on being “right.” but in the face of the drastic disruption that is here and coming, no one will know what the right answers are – or what “right” even is. So, the most important skill everyone can practice now is resilience.


3. The Ability to Collaborate


Business of the past was rooted in scarcity. It was a fixed pie model. The understanding was that there was a limited quantity of resources and of market share. This was a zero-sum game. If I am winning, you are losing, and vice versa.

The results of this have been that when we negotiate, when we create, when we think strategically, we think about how we can maximise what we get, which means minimising what the other party gets – which is very “I” or “me” focused.

The business models of the future are rooted in abundance, and the idea that everybody wins. The more any individual or company improves themselves through education, new products, etc., and then contributes that value to the whole, the more value everybody benefits. Negotiations don’t close on compromise, they close when everyone walks away from the table with what they need. This approach is more “us” or “we” focused.


The future described here isn’t some far-off occurrence that will happen one day. It is already here. This framework will help you thrive, no matter the size of the disruption.