The power of internal disruptors

It’s no secret that positive disruption is good for business. With every disruption comes the opportunity to adapt and grow, but those who don’t adapt and grow risk the chance of falling behind their competitors.

Disruption is happening at unprecedented levels, and it leaves no sector or industry unaffected. Harnessing disruption is about challenging conventions and driving radical changes to champion new ways of creating value.

To quote Richard Branson, “To launch a business, means solving problems. Solving problems means listening.”

Whilst understanding how disruption will affect your business is undoubtedly important, having a disruptor within your business could be the catalyst that ensures your business is ready to face future changes. Do you therefore need a Chief Disruption Officer?

The good news is that you may not need to look outside of your business to identify your key change agents.

Identify an internal positive disruptor

They have an agile way of thinking and easily adapt to changes. How often have you heard the saying ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’? Positive Disruptors are the polar opposite, they embrace change and recognise the benefits it brings. They’re proactive in anticipating change and are the catalysts for making it happen.

They think outside of the box. They’re active learners and their lateral thinking helps them challenge the status quo. They understand what is already great about the business and look to unconventional ideas to find alternative pathways to adapt or ‘disrupt’ areas that need improvement. They’re able to look at problems from multiple perspectives and generate ideas on how to solve issues.

They enjoy being out of their comfort zone. Positive disruptors and change agents enjoy challenging themselves and often ask probing questions such as ‘why are things done this way?’, ‘how can we add more value?’, ‘how does this benefit the customer?’

They stay in touch with the human side of change. Although they’re the catalyst of change, they understand that organisational response to change can be slow or reluctant and they’re able to reduce resistance by reasoning. They open up the new processes to incorporate ideas from other team members. They strike a balance between emotional intelligence and focus to maintain motivation whilst driving change.

They are confident in embracing change. People who are confident in their actions often carry people along with them. Your disruptor will be proactive, assertive and committed to the task in hand, which will ignite enthusiasm in those most resistant to change.

How to harness the power of positive disruption

Change should start at Board level. Your Board sets the strategy, monitors its implementation and are your brand ambassadors. Make sure the Board receives timely updates on barriers that might inhibit or reduce opportunities for positive disruption. 

Don’t be afraid of change, use it as an opportunity. Real change only occurs from disruption of the status quo, when new pathways are formed.

Use the persuasiveness of the positive disruptor. They’re often the best advocates of change so harness their force to spread the enthusiasm and the benefits of change.

Don’t place blame, it will only discourage new ideas. It’s inevitable that sometimes, things will fail. That’s life. There is always something to learn from the failure, so be open-minded and remember "failure isn't fatal, but failure to change might be." John Wooden.

Surprise your competitors – embrace disruption!

Natasha Volkk, Executive Search Consultant at Moon Consulting, shares her top tips for positive disruption, recruitment and career progression;

“Your positive disruptor will have a broadened knowledge of the organisation and will be multi-faceted when it comes to skillset, so it is crucial you cater for this in your job spec”.

Some of the key points you may want to include in your specification to help you identify your positive disruptor based on their characteristics and experience are:

Proven ability to manage cross-disciplinary groups – managing a cross-disciplinary of marketing, sales, product design and operations demonstrates understanding of the complexity of the functional organisational structure.

Proven ability to convert customer complaints into operational efficiency – converting complaints into product or service development and research demonstrates empathy and the ability to use it to solve problems.

Proven ability to investigate opportunities for disruption – a candidate who can turn potential disruptions into opportunities that have financial, market share or innovative consequences show that they able to convert challenges into innovative opportunities.

Proven ability to influence the Board and shareholders – influencing the organisational Board and shareholders demonstrates the ability to drive change by defining key benefits and advantages, and clearly establishing the impact it will have on the business.


Our position as trusted advisors to our clients means we have the knowledge and insight to support our clients in their search for exceptional leaders who are capable of providing proactive, as well as reactive, marketing strategies.

Moon Consulting has access to a substantial network of senior contacts stretching throughout the UK which includes Senior Board representatives on many FTSE Listed Companies and private equity backed businesses.

This means that we are in regular contact with experienced leaders who can bring experience of market share growth and transformation, whilst positively impacting the local environment that they operate in.

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