Disruption, remember, doesn't happen to companies that have strategically gone off the rails, or lost focus, or stopped executing well. Strong, fit, and prosperous companies get disrupted. Failures occur precisely because of their success is hard-wired to a business model whose once-solid, surefire assumptions gradually or suddenly erode.

Author and University of Toronto professor Joshua Gans defines disruption this way:

[Disruption is] what a firm faces when the choices that once drove a firm's success now become those that destroy its future.

Gans' book, "The Disruption Dilemma," considers ways organizations might armor themselves to withstand disruption, looking at both integrative approaches and independently assembled and sponsored self-disruptor sub-organizations. It's a worthwhile read, that explores both cases you know well and some elegant examples you probably never have heard of.

Too, this timely piece in the Harvard Business Review line-up of posts, "Leadership May Not Be the Problem with Your Innovation Team," by Schaffer Consulting partners Daniel Dworkin and Markus Spiegel. Their work, including research and data, focuses on profound opportunity (i.e. under-performance) across four "innovation conditions:" constant energy, creative friction, flexible structure, and purposeful discovery. Bottom line, Dworkin and Spiegel write:

The results of our assessment leave no doubt that there is significant opportunity to improve the way organizations innovate. Leaders have a central role to play in creating the conditions for teams to be successful. But team members can make substantial improvements on their own — and drive personal and professional growth at the same time. It takes both top-down support and bottom-up effort for innovation to thrive.

See, people in your organizations want to innovate--they want to discover integrated approaches to future-proof your firms, even as your original success model becomes a formula for risk of failure as time, conditions, and people's preference sets evolve. They want to make themselves part of the innovation that will add resilience and dynamism to business models that are tried, true, and the surest way to oblivion.

Housing's biggest challenges, we've said repeatedly, come down to simple concepts with very complex sets of opposing forces attached to them.

They involve health in several senses of the word:

  • Making communities resilient .... demography and data
  • Making places to live attainable to an ecosystem of workforces ... economics
  • Designing vibrancy and vitality into habitats for aging populations ... design
  • Making materials that recurrently circulate value ... products
  • and Making firms that can integrate positive model-transforming change into their everyday operations and performance .... business management

We're proud that we're making a big investment in the conversations that will enlighten and begin to train firms to train themselves in the art, science, and business of making positive changes.

The countdown to HIVE is 33 days. The event is nearly sold out. We'll hope to see you there, September 28 and 29, at LA Live, Los Angeles.