A light bulb went on for me as I was reading a series of reports from Deloitte University Press on disruption. When I was reading this, I remembered the terrific value we all seemed to have obtained from the pioneering work of Doblin and its ten types of innovation when it came out some years back. I felt this nine patterns of disruption has the same huge potential to frame and dialogue around the potential within disruption.

This “ten type of innovation” allowed the collective ‘us’ to suddenly see innovations simply beyond products. We were able to combine them in new ways. The ten types of innovation framework took us beyond a stereotype view of innovation, it opened up our thinking.

Ten Types of Innovation Updated Visual


A new framing of connecting disruptive innovation

I see the work currently being undertaken by Deloitte University Press as emerging as another important step, it allows us to frame and think disruption along recognised points of value, old and new.

They have defined the nine patterns of disruption as shown in the graphic below. Incidentally, the Doblin group is now part of Deloitte.

I think this has a great place to frame your disruptions, no different from the ten types of innovation.

The nine patterns of disruption (according to Deloitte)

9 patterns of disruption

Deloitte University Press has been exploring the disruptive forces at work in a “Patterns of Disruption” extended article and then providing a recent case series of these nine patterns of disruption shown above.

I urge all worried or simply interested in understanding disruptive innovation to read these as an excellent point of reference. It can become a really powerful starting point to look, explore and determine ‘your’ possible points of disruption.

More details on each of the 9 Patterns of Disruption, along with direct links to each of their case studies, are as follows with a short summary ‘taster’ to allow you to relate to each of these nine patterns:

  1. Unlock assets from adjacent markets

Today, a business can be a major transportation-for-hire company without owning any vehicles, or offer travellers accommodations worldwide without owning any hotels. How are companies like these using adjacent markets—and are they making traditional, capital-intensive business models obsolete?

  1. Align price with use

Today, pay-per-view isn’t the only thing you buy on a per-use basis. Companies are now offering usage-based pricing on everything from cars to car insurance, giving them rich insight into how, when, and where customers use products and threatening to upend traditional business models where revenues depend on ownership.…

  1. Turn products into product platforms

Rather than focus solely on guarding information, creators of product platforms balance the need to protect intellectual property with the value that can be created by allowing third-party innovators to build on the core product to meet a wide range of needs …

  1. Shorten the value chain

The changed economics of value delivery can challenge the viability of incumbents with long, complex value chains. New technologies are allowing marketplace entrants to eliminate whole stages of the value chain, often dramatically reducing capital and infrastructure costs.…

  1. Unbundle products and services

Products like newspapers and pop-music albums—once thought to be the smallest viable unit of sale—are now being disaggregated into their component parts, thanks to new technologies that change the economics of production and distribution. …

  1. Expand market reach

By making more products available to a larger audience, technologies such as the Internet are making it possible for organisations to fulfil the “long tail” of demand, disrupting incumbents that rely on high-volume sales of relatively few items.…

  1. Converge products

“Bundling” functions from formerly distinct products into a single offering can give customers a more economical and convenient way to access those functions—which can disrupt those making and selling specialised products. …

  1. Distributed product development

Using collaboration and information-sharing technology, organisations today can mobilise a multitude of third parties to help develop products and services, potentially leaving less innovative competitors behind.…

  1. Connect Peers (no case study yet released)

This is about fostering direct, peer-to-peer connections. Case study link will be added once available.

Getting closer to understanding today’s business disruption phenomena

Here we see the basic ingredients for making the change in these nine patterns offering a new recipe for challenging and making the change as ‘relevant markets’ can be redefined, providing a different source of value creation and recognising that unmet need of the consumer. It might be something as powerful as the ten types of innovation in exploring the disruptive innovation points of value.

It is the new conditions of a lower cost of entry and asset light, that technology is putting the potential into the hands of anyone to allow us to re-imagine and recombine, to look to eliminate waste, improve choices, offer greater connected convenience, more personalization but on a different scale and scope.

It is allowing us to challenge and exploit direct and indirect costs, to reduce lead times, focus upon new response times, to gain new identification and improved relationships, by connecting all the parts differently, that can create a change in finding new creation value points.

Exploring quickly, learning from these, developing the ability to pivot from this new set of insights, to firstly establish a new baseline approach that taps into the right conditions and having the ability, resources and confidence to quickly scale this and mature it out into a broader offering of its interconnected parts that keep adding more value. Large established firms can achieve this, no differently than the small and nimble but in different ways, it lies in the art of orchestration, mobilisation and clear, resolute commitment.

Becoming hyperaware, taking decisions and executing on these well is a great step forward for many.

We are certainly breaking faster than ever with the past. In the past we saw the future based often on the past, today we must see the future by exploring and experimenting constantly, based on our agility to recombine based on the technological potential we have increasingly available.

Although all these have such a short history and are always changing we need to be more at the forefront of this exploring. It is our embracing all forms of this technology revolution that allows us to frame our thinking differently, it alters our thinking constantly and our organisations need to be set up to evolve in the same responsive ways.

We need to build a greater hyperawareness, the ability to detect and monitor changes and that is coming at increasing speed through more data flowing towards us. It is our ability to absorb this and translate its meaning in different, value-added ways to give it new value from a customer and market perspective.

We also need to make better-informed decisions and act upon these through faster execution and these ‘skills’ need to be put in place far better within most organisations. We need to cut through the existing ways of doing business as normal and challenge everything, everywhere, constantly.

We need to think of these ‘forces of disruption’ as the ‘era of displacement’ as we are all caught up in this technology revolution. The headlights are full on and blinding all of us, it is how we quickly respond will give us a better chance of emerging out of this period of (digital) technological revolution.

Technology should not disable us, it should enable.

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Paul Hobcraft is recognised for his consistency to champion and inform on innovation. He focuses on building innovation capacity, competencies and capabilities. Paul is a frequent writer, recognised consistently as informative, creative and knowledgeable in piecing together the broader understanding of innovation. Paul continually constructs a series of novel and relevant frameworks to help advance this innovation understanding and writes under paul4innovating, where he regularly publishes his thinking and research based on solutions that underpin his advisory, coaching and consulting work at  www.agilityinnovation.com