Hello, everybody and welcome back to Agile Meridians' Agile Shorts. My name is Mike Jebber I'm here with my esteemed partners and we're here for episode 53, one of our episodes on our disruption series. Today, we're gonna talk about relating disruption to innovation. And if you followed us through this series in the last three episodes that we've had, the first episode, we talked about change in humans and how they interact and around VUCA: volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity and how it's generating all of this disruption and the need for innovation. And the second one, we talked a lot about personal disruption, Kumar went into a lot of detail around Whitney Johnson's book and her method around personal disruption. go back and check out that shameless plug, go back and check out those two. and our last episode Chris Daley gave us an insight into some personal disruption, very, very touching personal disruption that he experienced recently within his life. as an example to how disruption can happen to individuals when they're, when they least expect it, right? How, how we, most of us experience disruption on a regular basis. Although Chris's story, you gotta go back and watch. It is a pretty impressive one. So today we're gonna go and we're gonna move towards relating disruption to innovation. So I wanna, I wanna bring my partners in here to talk about this and we're gonna kind of cover three different aspects of this. So I wanted to go ahead and move this to, to Kumar and, and, and have you go ahead and, and start the conversation, conversation with us around around relating disruption to innovation. And we're gonna cover three points around that with the, when you think about this, what do you think first? What, what comes to mind first? What, what do you really think about when you think about relating these two and talking about it with others? Well, I think for me disruption in the marketplace causes innovation because you, you have to innovate to keep up with disruption in the marketplace. the latest example of that is chat GP T, right? It is causing a lot of disruption in the marketplace and it's causing a lot of anxiety for people that are feeling that maybe they're gonna be out of a job and, but it's also resulting in a, a lot of innovation. So I, I would say that disruption, it often drives that need for innovation, for individuals to go innovate, go learn something new or or, or things like that, I'll turn it to one of the others who wants to comment the, the it's, it's useful to keep in mind the usual sequence of this, right? Which is someone innovates, disrupt the market and then everyone has to innovate to at least keep up with it if not getting the right. So there is the innovation everywhere. But if you don't respond to the disruption that was caused by that initial in innovation, which Kumar, you like, you pointed out ChatGPT or we talk, we were talking earlier about Netflix or Uber or, or any of those kind of technologies or, or new innovations and you don't respond to it with your own. Then you're probably gonna fade off, right? And that that would be catastrophic. But at an individual level or at an organizational level, so there are many different examples of disruptions followed by innovations, but it all started with an innovation to begin. This is very interesting. I, I do think that's interesting and, and when you, the way you both mentioned, it's really, really great because it kind of ties back to what we were talking about in episode two and three, right? Episode two. you know, the whole idea that Whitney Johnson proposes is disrupting yourself to become more innovative, is to create innovation through disruption. And then when we talked in episode three with Chris, he was describing a situation that was something that he had to react to, that was that wasn't generated by anybody. It, which it just happened and it created a need for him to innovate in quite a dramatic way. But it's like those, I think those things you can get those from both sources. It's kind of, we were talking a little earlier, prepping for this session. Chicken and egg, right. There's a lot of chicken and egg with a lot of this stuff. Yeah. When you think about it, your disruption is, is my innovation or my new competitive advantage, right? And so it kind of depends on which, which side of the coin you're on, right? Are you a, are you somebody that had a problem that went out and solved it in a unique way or are you just, are you seeing somebody else come up with a new idea and that, you know, becomes so I'm following, I'm gonna be there. I'm gonna be, that's how I'm gonna, you know, I'm gonna be disrupted a little bit because I'm gonna have to innovate. And, you know, there's a, I, I'm always interested and I've done all my partners know I've done a lot of work messing around with chat GP T probably too much. But, you know, it's one of those things that I think it's a a tool that we use and I think a lot of people are scared by it, right? Because of what it might be. I and I mentioned in the, the work up to this, it's always interesting to me that you know, we mentioned Elon Musk and I mentioned Elon Musk about how it's interesting that he signed a letter with 1000 other tech stars about, you know, we need to put the brakes on A I for a little bit, but yet he has a self-driving car, right? So is a self driving car it that's gonna dis that's disrupting the automotive industry, right? His electric vehicle disrupted the automotive industry. So is his disruption and his innovation, I mean, is that, you know, it's kind of, it's, it's kind of talking out of both sides of his mouth if you think about it, right? And, and you know, you think back to where we were back years ago when, when I was in high school, right? We didn't have notes or tablets or, you know, iphones, right? We had paper and pencil and that's how we recorded things, you know, is it, is it really that new, is the stuff we're doing that is now the sci-fi of when I was a kid. Is that really, is it really that I wanna say here, is it really that is it really that scary for us. Right. And you know, it, I think disruption is good and I think innovation driving that disruption is even better. Yeah, I do think that, you know, chat and tools like it, the generative A I I it is gonna cause a sea change in how people do their work, knowledge workers especially do their work. and, and knowledge workers, you know, by definition or anyone that have some skill or some knowledge that takes some sort of brain power to translate into, into some something valuable that people use. So marketers and software developers and, and coaches, you know, like us perhaps are are gonna need to innovate and keep up with that disruption, right? And and people are already doing it. They're using chat as a as a coding buddy to pair program with and, and marketers are using chat GP T and other generative tools like this to write to, to really 10X their productivity because they, they can, they can do so much more and so much faster with tools like this. So it's really interesting to see where this goes. So as much as and as scary as tools like this can be, it can also lead to a lot of innovation in the industry and a lot of new ways to do your work better, maybe better ways to do your work. Jolly, you and I are you and I are both have a pretty strong development background. What do you think that this, the, this disruption, right, where it's coming in and how it ties to innovation? If you think back to what the, the transitions in the coding languages even, right from where you started to where you are today? Would you consider that a AAA large movement? Would you consider that disruptive? I think it made it easier and easier to program as we went along right? There was the barrier to entry into, into development field was much higher than, you know. Of course, maybe when you and I were programming, I started in the mid nineties. Chris when you said a little bit earlier. but at that time, the barrier to the barrier to entry, at least, at least where I grew up in India and, and the barrier to entry to get into a development career or a software engineering career was you need to have a forum, engineering degree. Otherwise nobody would care about what you knew, even if you were good at programming. The barrier was that right? You needed that four year engineer degree. Now, people are entering the engineering software development field with just like an online degree from Google, Google Hands out a, a cert I, I don't know how long it takes but you can, you can become a a, a relatively OK, skilled developer by going through the certification program and the bank has become so much lower. Right? You don't probably need a four year you need right now to be a software engineer. of any caliber you can get in there much more faster. And in that way, I think the next step of this is gonna make it even more lower. I'm, I'm guessing like, you know, like eighth graders or ninth graders are, are going to be employed by Google at some point, like maybe if not for money, at least, maybe like, or something because they can turn us out as fast as, or maybe even faster than we can. And I think it's a, it's a wake up call for for everyone. It, it probably is probably not something that you wanna buy and that the reason I prompted you, Jolly was because sorry, but the reason I prompted you was because you know, again, working in, in, in a dis what's believed to be a disruptive technology, right? Chat GP T it seems like it's a lot like the transition we made in coding, right? We start out with bits and bytes and we're flipping them and now all of a sudden you could, there's no code tools out there, right? And is that so the transition to Chat GP T you still have to be, you know, just like a developer. you have to have a good developer to code today just like you did years ago. Chat GP T is the same way, right? If an idiot with a tool is still an idiot, you know, so we wanna make sure that, you know, we, it's easier for, to go through and view it as a tool that we're gonna adopt and see how and embrace that change than it is to try and fight it. I think there's a lot of what's interesting is what's gonna come out of this that wasn't intended, right? You look at, look at the internet was not created, created to challenge the the the net TV, even there were TV stations, it was created to collaborate and collaborate, human to human. But you look at its usage, how much of its usage is spent, how much of the ban on content that would have been coming from a TV station at some point. So a lot of these technologies when they're created, even they're created for a specific purpose, but innovative minds and innovative companies, innovative cultures can look at that and go wait a minute, that's really good for this, but it could be even better for this even though it was never intended or created for that. And I think that kind of transitions us into the third point that we wanted to talk about today, which is really why we're doing this whole series on disruption. And it's about how do you, how do you take an organization, how do you take organizations and groups and enable them to become consistently innovative in a very disruptive environment, whether they disrupt the environment further or not, is probably good in some cases and bad in others. But what, how do you create that environment that is able to innovate when disruptions happen or even innovate to create new disruptions in their space to create competitive advantage, which, you know, is disruptive in itself to do that. And that's really around that idea of building environments, organizations need to be really focused in on building environments that drive and, and support and nurture the ability of the talent to do all the things we talked about in the first three series, in the first three episodes of the series to be able to take those in the, the, the idea and the ways of creating new innovations. and actually making them real, making them come to fruition. But if, if that environment doesn't support that and nurture that it'll never happen even though the capability is there. And I think that's where a lot of all the four of us and, and the folks we work with, spend a lot of our time really talking to the clients that we work with today and the individuals who work, especially the individual leaders that have the influence to, to manage and, and mold culture to, to, to have their hands on those, on those environmental sticks, to be able to make those things happen. And, and I want to hear your thoughts on that, you know, in terms of how do you, how do you tie together this idea with environment building as leaders of organizations and creating an innovative culture? Yeah, I, I can start I see it in that organizations that spend the time to, to invest in their people and, and their teams, right? That create an environment that the kind of environment that encourages innovation are also those types of environments that tolerate a certain amount of failure, right? So failure isn't a bad word in those, in those environments, right? It's, it's allowed. In fact, it's even encouraged that people try things, learn from those, those experiments that they conduct and and then make them better through iterative process. And by doing that, they are nurturing these individuals to their, their own individual capability to disrupt themselves. So thinking back to the Whitney Johnson model where an employee in an, in an organization as they kind of go through their own s curve, right? They, they start out as a new person unaware of what the climate or the culture is like. and then they quickly sort of get assimilated. And if it's a culture that nurtures individuals capabilities to disrupt, they quickly get engaged and they're, they're learning and they're contributing and up to a certain point to where they, they they reach a state of mastery, right? So the organizations that allow for that kind of that, that have that kind of an environment, those people will find other opportunities to, to disrupt themselves, right? Within the same company more, more than likely. And, and, and they stay, please. That's, that's my, I've seen it, I've seen it in companies that do that. Yeah, just, just to add to that from our the in the, in The Disruptor Method as well. We, we talk about how leadership can help make that environment happen for the, for the individuals to do what you just mentioned, right? Which is nurture the talent, trust them. Get out of the way. Maybe you be the, be the coach, be the one who gets the blocks out of the way and, and be that leader. not just the micro manager that, that you might be used to be used to be doing so the leader, all the leaders in the companies can equally help the individuals and create an environment where those individuals can actually do everything that we just mentioned. I think that's key. I think they have to be full on participants in this, not in the way that they're driving or working on the work or the the service or the products are delivering, but they have to be active participants, not in just signing a charter and putting up posters around the room. But in, in being an active participant, in helping individuals feel safe in building the psychological safety, depending on where they're starting from and how much, how much innovative culture they have today, how much, how much failure do they allow to happen? What is, how is failure viewed today when these things start to pivot, people don't believe right off the bat, especially if it's been happening for a long time that, that the new norm is the new norm. They think it's a fad. They think it's gonna maybe not stay around and if they're not full on participants, so they don't see people engaged in this in a way that you were, both of you were just talking about. They're gonna notice it, they're gonna, they're gonna feel like It's an empty promise and it really doesn't have a whole lot of leadership engagement behind it. It may have support but it doesn't, if it doesn't have that engagement, it's not going to have the impact that it should and could, or it may take too long and people will decide, this isn't really what, and they go back to what they were doing, Chris, I think, you know, my thoughts on that one, I guess. Right. No, I think you said it all. I, ok. So, I mean, it's, it's also important to note that if you don't respond to disruption with innovation, odds are that you will fail, right? I mean, the odds are higher, much, much higher than you will fail. And it is, it is, but on the leaders of these organizations to, to kind of create that environment so that you don't go down the path of failure. I, I, I, I remember the small example where you know, U Uber came in and Lyft came in and this stuff in the cab industry, but there were, I don't know about other cities, but you might remember this in DC. There are these hyper local companies that run Uber like organizations, right? Where you can get cars for just like small local trips or something similar, right? Or, or you walk to a certain place and then you get on the in the car along with a few people. There are so many companies that have innovated separately from, you know, just, just following what Uber lifted and have these hyper local companies which, which have catered to a different market, which is a really good example of, of great innovation coming out of disruption even when there was no need to, right? The vision is just really awesome. Well, the thing about innovation is that it creates new ecosystems, it it creates new markets for people to sort of, you know, Uber was at one point the only player in that game, right? And then came along Lyft and then all the other hyperlocal cab services and, and then came doordash and you know, all the variants of, hey, using a person and their vehicle to go deliver a service for someone, right, either delivering the person to their location or delivering food for them or buying them groceries or whatever it might be. And so innovation breeds more innovation because it creates a marketplace for, for new ideas to take hold using the same sort of basic concepts, you know, and Netflix is the same thing. They sort of started this whole trend around streaming and now look at all the players that are out there, they're doing similar things with streaming Right. And of course, at the, when they first came, came about back in 2001 or whenever and Blockbuster was king, no one ever thought they were gonna go away except the people that were using Netflix who looked forward to those DVD coming in the mail and, of course, now there's no Blockbuster except for what was it? One store somewhere, something like that. Yeah, I think there's a program out about it. Like somebody made a, a program about that. You know, I, I, I think I would just add to what to everything we're saying is that you don't, we've talked about innovation being new ideas, right? Where somebody comes in and they come in with the intent of doing something, right? And they go off and they build something like Uber went off and built its own dispatch software, right? And things like that, you know, I was at a client last week where we were, that particular client is in the regional airline industry and they took a unique approach to training their pilots and that is they went out and bought their own flight simulators and created a bay, created bays if you will in their training center so that their pilots could go and work, do the simulation work in the simulators and then go to the classrooms, right? And integrate the two in the past, they had to send them off to other, you know, to other sites, right? Whether it's Cincinnati or Kansas City or wherever. And then they took it a step further and said, you know what, we're, we've got these hotels around us that we use. Why don't we just make an on campus hotel to house our flight attendants and our pilots so that we bring them in. They're here, we know where they're at. They don't have to train. I mean, they, they can get to from the hotel into the training center. The corporate headquarters is gonna be out there, you know, and it ends up being this all-inclusive campus that's not done for the most part, but the rest of the industry and they didn't come up with some, they didn't develop the new flight simulators, they didn't come up with the hotel, they took some pieces and put them together in a way that they think is going to dramatically change the way regional airlines recruit and manage their pilots. Right? And so when we talk about innovation and disruption, it doesn't necessarily have to be some brand new idea that's out there, right? All ideas, all innovation is built on the back of somebody else, right? Somebody else has got an idea on something they take it and somebody takes a little twist on it, right? And twists it and, or maybe twist it in a major way. But, but they take something that's existing and look at it a little bit differently. And so just think about that as you're going through and trying to figure out what am I a disruptor or am I gonna be disrupted? You know, and if you're gonna be disrupted, be sure you're a close follower, right? Because if you don't necessarily have to be at the front, but you just have to be, you have to beat everybody else, right? In terms of adopting that disruption and that innovation. Yeah, the three of you had one common theme through the last, the, the last point in your topics and, and that was the idea of pull, right? The the that you get this environment going, you, you get creative environments going as a leader or a change agent or a disruptor. If you're going to be successful, long term, you have to be able to generate that pull that idea that innovation breeds innovation and innovation kind of pulls the idea of innovation in, makes it safe, makes it makes it fun, makes it worth trying to, to do and it, you can't push your force innovation in, in, in a way that's top down. You have to generate these environments that start to pull the people towards it, pull people towards that innovation. And as you get new people involved, you get new ideas and new innovations coming along. So I love that kind of theme that the three of you put together on tying this together and do innovation be getting more innovation through creating a pull system and that's completely dependent upon environments that can be sustained long enough to allow for innovation to start to pull on other people and other and other folks any last closing items before we before we end this episode I haven't thought about Elon Musk and his, pause on a, I, but, maybe we should talk about that in the future. Probably. Maybe I haven't, I haven't thought, I have to admit that was kind of off the top of the head type comment. So, who do? I mean, I, I would certainly like to explore that at some point. Well, I mean, it makes sense, you know, he's maybe scared of, the, the market, the ecosystem that he's created and what that's gonna do right in the future. I mean, so Tesla innovated and they disrupted the auto industry and, you know, if you don't believe that just wait five or 10 years when every car that's out there that's sold out, there's gonna be an E V. but, you know, there's new players on the, in the market, you know, the A I is only getting more powerful. And so it's interesting that he's asking for a pause, pause as, as to what he started. Some things don't change over time, right. The people at the top wanna stay at the top, they don't want to go. And, you know, those are, those are the resistors to change, which is interesting because I think he's realizing that maybe he's going to be disrupted or he and his, his company might get disrupted in the future. Right. And that's not a bad thing, you know, being aware of that is not a bad thing. Right. That's true. Yeah, as a disruptor, you would think he might have a good ability to see potential disruption coming at him. Yes, I would imagine that's the case so. Well, thank you everybody for joining us. Thank you, partners, for being here for our fourth episode in the series. We're really looking forward to continuing the series with you and have a great week. Thanks all. Bye bye. Bye bye.