20 Entrepreneurs Explain the Best Ways to Encourage a Team to be Disruptive

A satisfied employee will always strive hard to achieve their goals and contribute to your business’ success. As a business owner, it’s therefore important to invest in your team and consider them in change-making processes. They say change is as good as rest and without change, we create barriers in our workplace and become biased in the way we work.

Here are some tips from different entrepreneurs and business owners on the best way they encourage a team to be disruptive.

#1- Set goals

Photo credit: Gerrid Smith

It is critical for businesses to establish a direct link between individual employee success and the company's overall performance. This can help to improve employee confidence by making them feel valued. Setting clear objectives and providing regular information on potential changes can also help employees stay focused. Seeing how their job contributes to the company's overarching goals is one of the most important engagement factors for employees.

Thanks to Gerrid Smith, Joy Organics!

#2- Create a positive environment

Photo Credit: Stella Monteiro

Start by making sure that each team member is bringing their entire self to work.
Sounds simple but in reality, it requires you to create an environment with psychological safety, where each one feels accepted for what they are as an individual and, at the same time, they belong in this team. This will unleash creativity and the confidence that ideas are welcome, no matter how crazy or, guess what, disruptive they may be.

Thanks to Stella Monteiro, Meritarc!

#3- Recognize them

Photo Credit: Dean Scaduto

Employee engagement and recognition go hand in hand, and it's a combination of these things that really helps to improve creative thinking. Remember that your coworkers may (and probably do) prefer to be honored in a different way than you. Giving employees the information they need to know which of their efforts are valued the most helps everyone understand the impact of their job and what should be prioritized. Learn how your team loves to be acknowledged and respected, and you'll find that they'll be more willing to try new things.

Thanks to Dean Scaduto, Kitchen Infinity!

#4- Flex your technology

Photo Credit: Lee Grant

When Digital Transformation is stalled and information technology systems entangle them in a web of interoperability and programming issues, it's difficult for businesses to be revolutionary. Because of sunk costs, the more a company relies on technology, machinery, and infrastructure, the more difficult it is to make a drastic transition. If disruptive approaches are easier to implement, your employees may be more open to them.

Thanks to Lee Grant, Wrangu!

#5- Encourage them

Photo Credit: Erin Zadoorian

Let them know that the concept of disruption is welcome in your organization. Let them see you bend the rules once in a while. Let them know that disruptive behavior is met with open arms and not with punishment. Meet their efforts and suggestions with enthusiasm and encourage them more by giving them updates about your plans about their suggestions. Never humiliate employees when they come up with out-of-the-box solutions that you’ve never thought of. Instead, reward them recognition in front of their peers.

Thanks to Erin Zadoorian, Ministry of Hemp LLC!

#6- Give rewards

Photo Credit: Jeremy Yamaguchi

Some people are naturally more disruptive than others. But you can encourage that attitude by making it a normal part of your team's process and incentivizing it. While we don't always do it, once every quarter we basically pay our employees to come up with crazy solutions to problems our company faces. The more off the wall, the better. We reward top, proven ideas with bonuses and more PTO so that everyone puts as much as they can into it.

Thanks to Jeremy Yamaguchi, Lawn Love!

#7- Break up the routine

Photo Credit: Andre Kazi

Try to create a workplace that isn’t totally routine. Doing the same thing every day leads to a lack of motivation and complacency. Have organic meetings and conversations where you encourage forward-thinking and new ideas. Host events and take your team members to other industry events to break up the routine. By constantly learning and openly communicating with one another in new ways, you demonstrate to your team that new ideas and ways of working are good things.

Thanks to Andre Kazi, Improovy!

#8- Illustrate how it pays off

Photo Credit: Marc Atiyeh

One of the best ways to encourage your team to be disruptive is to illustrate exactly how innovation pays off. Constantly showcase new ideas, hold impromptu brainstorming sessions and be sure to show how creativity is rewarded. When disruption is exhibited, be sure to applaud it, and ensure that your team understands that it's a clear path toward growth.

Thanks to Marc Atiyeh, PAWP!

#9- Hold brainstorming sessions

Photo Credit: Johannes Larsson

The easiest way to encourage critical thinking and creativity is to hold brainstorming sessions. Creativity and critical thinking are two characteristics that have massive influence over a person's ability to generate disruptive ideas. As such, the best way to encourage your team to be disruptive is to help boost their critical thinking and creativity. Brainstorming sessions train the mind to think of out-of-the-box ideas that challenge people's limits to develop uncommon but great ideas.

Thanks to Johannes Larsson,!

#10- Seek out advice

Photo Credit: Richard Mews

Internal employees have to constantly repeat the same message many times if they do not have an external consultant backing them up. To ease the stress of taking on new knowledge, take a break from the marketplace and its regulations, and instead seek out advice from a mentor who can offer your firm an understanding of where you stand among your competition and other factors affecting your business.

Thanks to Richard Mews, Sell With Richard!

#11- Be flexible

Photo Credit: Jennifer Harder

Allow for more flexibility, by fine-tuning your operations to make them more agile, you may make disruptions less disruptive. Lean manufacturing methods are used by businesses to speed up the product development process and bring goods closer to market demands. Small teams must launch minimum viable products and evaluate their attractiveness with consumers throughout fast three-month development cycles.

Thanks to Jennifer Harder, Jennifer Harder Brokerage!

#12- Embrace technology

Photo Credit: Hutch Ashoo

Information technology systems entangle organizations in a web of interoperability and programming problems, making it impossible for enterprises to be creative when digital transformation is stopped. Due to sunk expenses, as technology, equipment, and infrastructure become increasingly important for businesses. Disruptive techniques will be more appealing to your workers. Use various mobile, cloud, open-source, low-code, and no-code methods.

Thanks to Hutch Ashoo, Pillar Wealth Management!

#13- Make observations

Photo Credit: Cameron Miller

They were probably introduced to new and more productive methods of doing things at that company. Encourage new employees to speak out about possibilities they see and things they think you should improve. Also, get their feedback on what didn't work at their previous jobs. After all, for every successful change effort, there are many more that fail. Perhaps you can benefit from these observations without making the same errors.

Thanks to Cameron Miller, Cameron Miller Real Estate!

#14- Help them understand customers

Photo Credit: Dan Barcelon

Give your personnel the tools they need to understand your customers. The most significant way to inspire your team to be disruptive is to arm them with knowledge of your customers' behaviors, attitudes, preferences, and engagements so that they can take strategic risks and create informed experiences that disrupt the market. You can never correctly motivate your customers if you don't understand them, and if you can't encourage them, you can't disrupt the market or your competition.

Thanks to Dan Barcelon, Non-Athlete Fitness!

#15- Hold weekly meetings

Photo Credit: Ken Olling

Weekly brainstorming meetings should be scheduled to encourage your team
members to be disruptive. I want our staff to feel comfortable sharing their ideas, knowing that each one will be met with positivity. We hold weekly brainstorming sessions where we sit around (on Zoom now!) and TALK about our businesses and where we see their points of uniqueness. Some of our best ideas emerge from there and having that open venue to feel comfortable sharing allows us to do so.

Thanks to Ken Olling, MELD!

#16- Ensure there's no disturbance

Photo Credit: Elizabeth Lombardo, Ph.D.

Every company should be examining retention statistics, but it is also essential to identify why your top talent is departing and where they are going to make sure that there is no disturbance in the workplace. For example, if Microsoft had considered what Apple was doing to entice Microsoft's top employees to go, both businesses might have been able to stay up. Exit data doesn't lie: if a large number of your workers are leaving for startup rivals, your management will have no option but to notice.

Thanks to Elizabeth Lombardo, Ph.D.  Warburton Media!

#17- Provide a safe environment

Photo Credit: James Crawford

Provide a safe environment where all employees are encouraged to be open with thoughts and ideas. Stimulate conversation with the attitude, if it isn't broken, break it. Experienced employees may have been doing things the same way for many years, all the time knowing it could be done a different way. Let them try it and see how it works. Don't forget the newer employees. They may well have seen processes implemented in different ways in previous employment and could bring that innovation to your business, don't rule out any source of inspiration.

Thanks to James Crawford, Deal Drop!

#18- Lead by Example

Photo Credit: Jeannie Price

There’s no better way to encourage your team to be disruptive than to lead by example. As a leader, you must be the model of embracing change for the entire team, demonstrating a curious and innovative mindset. If you never think creatively about your work, you can’t really expect your employees to do that. You should be willing to challenge the status quo and innovate. This way, you’ll encourage your team members to be innovative and to challenge their beliefs.

Thanks to Jeannie Price, Gift Unicorn!

#19- Encourage friendships

Photo Credit: Tomek Młodzki

Nothing is impossible with the support of trusted people. Sharing a common goal with people you like will fill you with everlasting energy. For this reason, you should encourage your team members to become friends if you want to build a disruptive team. On-site workers can even arrange a short work break every week. Plan some activities that will encourage them to meet each other or pair them to talk.

Thanks to Tomek Młodzki, Photo AiD!

#20- Reinvent

Photo Credit: Summer Romasco

Sometimes getting your team to be more disruptive takes revisiting the product that has long been the backbone of your business and finding ways to reinvent it to meet the needs of a newer generation of consumers. Such reinvention requires enterprises to rethink their product and revise established engineering processes for the team. Doing so can spark your team's creativity and drive innovation that unlocks new value from your existing product, so your business can reach its new target market.

Thanks to Summer Romasco, Ad Hoc Labs!

What are the best ways to encourage your team to be disruptive? Tell us in the comments below. Don’t forget to join our #IamCEO Community.

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