Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

Got a Random Brilliant Thought?

Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

Got a Random Brilliant Thought?

Article excerpt

LUKE WILLIAMS' DISRUPT: Think the Unthinkable to Spark Transformation in Your Business challenges businesspeople to change the way they do things. But we've heard it all before, haven't we? Open your mind, the cliche goes, and kick your creativity into high gear. Success is sure to follow. Only it doesn't always work out that way, does it?

What's different about Disrupt is that Williams, an NYU Stern School of Business-based educator, speaker and innovation strategist who presented his ideas last February at the ABA National Conference for Community Bankers in Boca Raton, offers readers a methodology for turning their random brilliant thoughts into honest-to-goodness action plans. That's worth the price of admission--and more.

We bankers are prime candidates for this sort of step-by-step approach. We work in, let's say, a mature industry--but it's an industry that's facing unprecedented disruption. Technology--the Internet--is slapping us in the face and yelling at us to wake up. Meanwhile, brass-and-walnut traditionalists pine for the old ways because they've been so successful for so long. In theory, we all know that innovation is the foundation of the American dream. But some bankers don't want to acknowledge we're being innovated out of our socks. Williams gives us the help we need.

"To start moving in a new direction, you need to kick hard against what's already there," he says. Through his "five stages of disruptive thinking," Williams turns a kick into a process that can work in any organization. Even a bank. Here are the five stages of disruptive thinking:

* Craft a disruptive hypothesis

* Define a disruptive market opportunity

* Generate several disruptive ideas

* Shape them into a single, disruptive solution

* Make a disruptive pitch that will persuade internal or external stakeholders to invest or adopt what you've created

The chapters in Disrupt expand on these five stages and guide the reader all the way from crafting a hypothesis to formulating a persuasive pitch. The process will work just as well for big banks with large product development departments as for community banks with only a few employees. …

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