Perception is reality. The perception is that maybe it's not all that accurate or useful to think about business in terms of disruption. That represents a major paradigm shift from framing what is in terms of how it can be and will be disrupted.
This intellectual earthquake has been primarily generated by Jill Lepore's article (more like a type of Martin Luther manifesto nailed to the church door) in The New Yorker.
In it she refutes much of the thinking of disruption expert Clayton M. Christensen. He published the "The Innovator's Dilemma" in 1997. Here is a copy of Lipore's arguments.
Bluntly (and her style resonates), Lipore observes, "Ever since 'The Innovator's Dilemma,' everyone is either disrupting or being disrupted. There are disruption consultants, disruption conferences, and disruption seminars."
Clearly, we ghostwriters as well as the front lines in public relations have the responsibility to alert our clients about the controversy surrounding the concept "disruption." For the time being, we might simply supply them with substitute concepts and language. All that could include:
- Creative Destruction (as Schumpeter hammered)
- Everything changes (as the Buddha noted in ancient times)
- Ongoing volatility
- Turbulence (as Peter Drucker flagged back in the rather staid 80s)
- Reset (once a fave term at GE)
- Nuke nostalgia (once a fave phrase at GE)
What will be fascinating to monitor is how the tech media such as Tech Crunch manage this buzzword crisis.