The idea that you discount is the innovation someone will use to disrupt you.
[Vizzini has just cut the rope The Dread Pirate Roberts is climbing up]
Vizzini: HE DIDN’T FALL? INCONCEIVABLE.
Inigo Montoya: You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means
From the movie The Princess Bride
Many organisations feel comfortable that the prospects of disruptive innovation are limited. They view their history, their client relationships, their propositions and their position in the market. With a view back into history, they cannot conceive how anyone could do better. They discount the threats and the opportunities of innovation.
Ernst & Young estimated that in the fourth quarter of 2014, global venture capital investment was $86.7bn. That money is exploring opportunity in many sectors previously regarded as too difficult for startups like health, government or financial sectors. For example, the funding for startups targeting financial technology (or fintech) has grown exponentially in the last 3 years. That’s a lot of enterpreneurial dreams that are being backed with capital. The goal of those startups is to do what is inconceivable to other organisations.
Innovators don’t look backward as to what can be expected from the past. Innovators create their own path through difficulties and challenges in the pursuit of new & different ways. They know there is competitive advantage in being the first through into a new concept and that the doubts will hold others back. They also know that the surprise of a new innovation will often paralyse the incumbent players who go through a grief-like cycle of denial, anger, delay, bargaining and finally acceptance that a response is required.
Explore the inconceivable, ridiculous and stupid ideas. Break the bounds of your organisations traditional ways of seeing and doing as you explore innovation. You will discover you can conceive a lot more than you expect.