Disruptive Forces

Nov 2, 2018

by Bob Thompson

Disruptive forces are forces that disrupt (often permanently) the way things have been done. They can be temporary, e.g. a rainstorm can disrupt a picnic. Or they can be permanent (systemic) e.g. the invention of the motor car disrupted the buggy making industry.

Disruptive forces are neither good nor bad, they just are. Examples of systemic disruptions in education are the electronic calculator disrupting pencil and paper calculations, distance learning courses disrupting the traditional classroom, and the Internet has replaced the teacher as the primary source of data and information.

If a disruptive force is systemic, it is unstoppable and to fight it is futile. The key to success when confronted with a systemic disruptive force is to recognize it and adapt – to move quickly to exploit the new tool or circumstance.