Disruptive, Difficult or just Different?

Richard Branson has hit the headlines again this week with his comments about the sort of person employers should welcome into their business. I’m sure if you asked most employers the qualities they look for in a prospective employee, ‘disruptive’ would not be on the list. Well, they might be about to write a new list!

Richard Branson has coined a new phrase ‘disruptive talent’ to describe the kind of maverick individual that can bring creative ideas and a new perspective to a company but, at the same time, may not easily integrate into an existing team.

Very often, these ‘disruptive talents’ are the ones who had a difficult time conforming at school – clearly bright but somehow didn’t quite ‘fit in’. Rather like Richard Branson himself. It’s a well-known part of the extraordinary Branson story that he left school at 15 with no academic qualifications whatsoever. In fact a number of high-profile names in the world of business might well have been described as a ‘disruptive talent’ when they were first starting out: Lord Richard Rogers for instance, one of our leading architects and designer of the innovative and iconic Pompidou Centre in Paris, hated school and really struggled with reading and writing. Jackie Stewart one of Britain’s greatest racing drivers and now a highly successful business man, more than 20 years ago went on national television to talk about his struggles at school and his difficulties with conventional learning. And then there’s Mark Zuckerberg ….of facebook fame.!

‘Disruptive talents’ have always been with us. We also know them as ‘entrepreneurs’. ‘Disruptive talents’ make things happen and effect change. They are very often the doers, the shakers, the get-up-and-goers; they are visionaries, pioneers, inventors and innovators; they are leaders and decision makers; they climb over obstacles and smash through glass ceilings; they may take a different approach, but they do make a difference; they are just the sort of people who are members of The Boardroom Network.

At TBN, we provide opportunities for business owners and decision makers from across a wide range of professions – ‘disruptive’ included – to get together and share ideas. Our monthly breakfast meetings are stimulating, informative, productive, enjoyable and, in Richard Branson-speak, ‘disruptive’! With a growing membership, there are new people to meet at every event. A conversation over coffee and a fine breakfast can be the first step towards a creative and successful working relationship.

Our next meeting is Thursday 6th August. Come and join us. We expect plenty of disruption!