Stop Thinking “Disruption”, Start Thinking “Amplification”

Stop Thinking “Disruption”, Start Thinking “Amplification”



Everyone is talking about digital disruption, and rightly so.

The term “digital disruption” conjurs up fear, uncertainty and doubt, which can lead to a mindset that misses a very important point….

Technology isn’t disrupting anything, people are! 

Digital technology is amplifying the potential of people, like nothing has before, by simply increasing their access to knowledge and information, and their connection with others.

Over the past thirty years, the amplification of human contribution to value is seen in the numbers. Check out the diagram below.


In 1985, 68% of S&P company market value was “tangible”. That's stuff you could touch (e.g inventory) and count (e.g. cash). In 2015 that number was just 16%!

That means that 84% of market value in 2015 was intangible, or the value sourced from the minds of people, and expectation of their ability to keep on doing it. This value includes brand value, intellectual property and the value of business processes or ways of doing things.

So the old saying “people are our greatest asset” is now indisputably true.

Leaders of people need to take heed of this massive shift in the source of value creation and adopt a new mindset that is obsessive about enabling their people to be the best they can be. 

The challenge for established organisations and their leaders is to find ways to ensure the potential of their people is amplified rather than those of a competitor or start-up.

As a leader, what you know and what you can do, has nothing like the leverage you have when you focus more on making others great, leveraging what they know and connecting them better with each other.

Leaders need to think more like head coaches than star players.