Disruptive Innovation Drives Business Reinvention

Business Reinvention | BCBusiness
There’s more to a big idea in business than a big idea in business.

To truly innovate or reinvent, a business needs to create something that is completely different but people realize they need once they see it. 

Some of you may know that I operate a business called Reinventionist that helps businesses (and individuals) reinvent themselves.

I started it because a) I have reinvented myself many times, so I thought I could provide some advice to others and b) we’re in a world of rapid change and companies and people are more tuned to it and c) reinvention is becoming more common today.

People change jobs because they want to do something different; they change locations because they feel new ones will give them a new perspective and a fresh start; companies change how they do business because they want to move in different directions.

But change isn’t reinvention. Reinvention is much deeper.

That’s why I try to explain that reinvention is a process of innovation, and innovation isn’t simple. Sure, you can tweak something, approaching it slightly differently, or delivering it in a way you never delivered it before. That’s called incremental innovation.

Under this process, if you’re a business, you may open up a new market, adopt a different production system, or make a refinement on your product.

If you’re an individual, you may vary something so that it creates a slightly different you — reshaping your body and improving your health through exercise, for example.

Reinvention is a different kind of innovation, one closer to what’s called ‘disruptive innovation.’ For companies this means combining two (or more) things, finding a commonality between them, stripping away everything from them that isn’t relevant to the combo, and coming up with something brand new.

The iPhone wasn’t something that involved a simple change, or appeared out of the ether like some kind of mental lightning bolt.

It was a combination of wireless telephone technology and extreme user-centered design. The result was something the world had never seen before — a disruptive innovation that created an entirely new market and upturned an entire industry.

But, at its core, it was a reinvention of the mobile phone into something completely different.

And that difference came about because the iPhone developers — Steve Jobs may have spearheaded it, but many others contributed to it — had a purpose in mind.

They wanted to turn the mobile phone into a mirror experience of the computer, but a computer that was much simpler to use. They wanted to bring mobile-device computing to the masses, a bold purpose indeed.

Similarly, anyone attempting to reinvent themselves or their company must also have a big, honking, overriding purpose in mind. That purpose needs to be so obvious or intuitive that people — ie customers — will want to share it.

How can your company create something brand new? More importantly, how can it create something brand new that people need and want once they discover it exists?

This is what really matters. Not change, not innovation, but innovative reinvention that resonates with other people.