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The Disruption Formula - Forbes

Posted on by Brandon Klein

The truth is that dealing with disruption has nothing to do with being smart or dumb or even being big or small, but in understanding the vast networks of connections and interdependencies that underlie it.  It’s time that businesses began to learn what science already knows: the way things connect determines how they will behave.

Focus On Passion

One popular strategy in recent years has been to identify and recruit so-called Influentials.  These people, sometimes divided into neat little classes like “mavens” and “connectors”, are supposed to have nearly superhuman powers to initiate trends that the rest of us will follow.  It would be nice if it were true, but seeking out Influentials is mostly a waste of time. How Disruption Happens Greg Satell Greg Satell Contributor 5 Innovation Rules That You Won't Learn From Tony Stark Greg Satell Greg Satell Contributor The New Age Of Disruption Greg Satell Greg Satell Contributor

It’s not that some people don’t have more influence than others, they surely do.  However, often this influence is a matter of position (like a head of state) or celebrity (like Oprah Winfrey), in which case their influence has nothing to do with their personal qualities, but is a result of organizational networks or mass media, both of which have influences within.

The truth is that disruption is largely a function of group dynamics and has little to do with any mysterious powers.  In effect, everyone is a potential influencer.  So we’re much better off seeking out those who are likely to be receptive and passionate about our idea, rather than wasting time and effort seeking out “Influentials” who don’t really exist.

Once we begin to gain traction among early adopters, we can build up critical mass and start convincing other, more resistant groups.  That’s how disruption happens.