The 5 W’s & H of Disruptive Thinking

Does disruption depend on chance or a few young entrepreneurs or a lucky bet?

Can people learn to be disruptive?

Do we all have a potential Uber idea lurking within us?

I find these fascinating questions.

My experience is that disruptive thinking can be taught.

It is a set of skills, processes and tools that with practice can help any start up or established business.

Here is a tentative framework that any individual or group can use to help them to generate disruptive ideas or opportunities.

It borrows the 5 W’s and H template:

I will use Uber as an example:

Why disrupt the taxi industry?
– widespread consumer frustration
– Lack of real competition

Who will be disrupted?
– Taxi drivers
– Car owners
– Regular taxi users
– Potential taxi users who have not done so before

When and where can the disruption take place?
– Focus on the consumer experience of hailing and booking a taxi

What are the current rules of the game (or conventions) of the taxis industry?
– Regulated industry
– A few companies own all the taxis
– The hailing down of taxis can be painful
– Can be long waiting times
– Not sure when the taxi will arrive
– Can pay by card or cash
– Expensive

How to disrupt these conventions?
– Use a simple, easy to use mobile app
– Make the transaction cashless
– Link the app to Google maps so the public knows where and when the taxi will arrive
– Open up the system so that anyone can potentially be a Uber driver
– Rate the drivers and passengers
– Create a world-wide brand and encourage strong word of mouth via social media
– Make it cheaper

So there it is.

I know it is easier in retrospect because we know what has happened and Uber is a big success.

However thinking about disruption in this way can unlock breakthrough growth opportunities and will ensure that you are better prepared for any disruptive threats.

The 5 W’s and H of disruptive thinking.

Try and apply it to your brand, business or career and let me know how it goes.

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