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

Satisfied employees 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.

#1- Participate in brainstorming

Photo Credit: Cynthia Thurlow Cruver

Encouraging the whole team to participate in brainstorming (regardless of their job title), creative ideation, and naming projects is one way we do it.  Disruptive innovation is best achieved in an open, supportive and collaborative environment where all ideas are valued. I say yes more than I say no and I also suspend judgment. In the senior living space, we encourage the team to forget “what’s always been done” or “what’s possible” to come up with new ideas to innovate and be disruptive.

Thanks to Cynthia Thurlow Cruver, 3rdPlus!

#2- Take the initiative to be great

Photo Credit: Dan Gray

A team that takes initiative to be great is bound to be disruptive. Going beyond the call of duty shows pride in your work and sincere devotion to the company. Encourage your team to take initiative whenever possible—perhaps offer incentives to those who produce exceptional results, hit main KPIs, etc. A team of individuals who seek more responsibility is seen as trustworthy, reliable, and key to the success of the entire team.

Thanks to Dan Gray,  Kotn Supply!

#3- Share personal experiences

Photo Credit: Ray Leon

Share personal experiences, and give them the tools and resources they need for detailed insights, and proactively engage with your team to build better working relationships and encourage them to be disruptive. People respond well to sincere communication. The more comfortable they are around you, the better they’ll feel about approaching you for help, guidance, or just to chat. Engage your team with sincerity to gain their trust, loyalty, and respect.

Thanks to Ray Leon, Pet Insurance Review!

#4- Diverge and converge

Photo Credit: Lisen Stromberg

Fostering disruptive thinking depends on a team’s ability to effectively diverge (experience unfettered ideation) and converge (build connection by aligning on actions) to find new and innovative solutions. Diverging widens the perspective and allows the team to explore new ideas and opens up options. Converging coalesces collective wisdom and moves the team toward focused decisions and concrete outcomes. Great leaders actively facilitate discussions in a manner that invites and manages divergence and convergence.

Thanks to Lisen Stromberg, Rebellious PR!

#5- Ideation, collaboration, and failure

Photo Credit: Kanin Asva

Place value on the human capabilities of creating, ideating, and imagining new ideas. Innovation and disruption are reliant on risk-taking. So, collaborate with employees of all levels, in all departments. Acknowledge the good ideas and let the team act on them. If you want to move away from the status quo, place your customers in the future and figure out what they will need then – not now. Disruption takes time, experimentation, and learning from mistakes. Allow for failure during the process.

Thanks to Kanin Asva, Robust!

#6- Going away from the rigid structures

Photo Credit: Daniel Gray

Creativity cannot be curtailed to certain time slots, similar to innovation. Going away from the rigid 9-5 structure and providing amenities to employees at whichever hour of the day should be the norm going forward. With the inclusion of online platforms into the working module, employers can now provide 24*7 access to their employees. This combined with the 24*7 access will help bring out more from the employees; more in terms of work and innovation.

Thanks to Daniel Gray, Smart Scouter!

#7- Share content

Photo Credit: Josh Wright

We try to encourage our teams to be disruptive by frequently sharing content with them that focuses on disruption as well as frequently holding brainstorming sessions to come up with new ideas for our business. By giving our teams content that focuses on disruption, we start to make it a normal procedure and start to get their minds thinking in this sort of way. Usually, we focus on disruption in our marketing, meaning most of the content that we send them is marketing-related.

Thanks to Josh Wright, CellPhoneDeal!

#8- Lead by example

Photo Credit: Chris Roth

If you want your team to be disruptive, it's important to start with yourself. You need to lead by example. If you're constantly shutting down everyone's suggestions and ideas, your team will start thinking that their ideas aren't good enough. So instead of shutting down their ideas, ask them questions about them—and listen carefully when they answer them! They'll feel much more empowered by this process than if you just tell them no immediately.

Thanks to Chris Roth, Highline Wellness!

#9- Show them the benefits of thinking outside the box

Photo Credit: Anup Kayastha

Consistently show them the benefits of thinking outside the box, and reward them for their efforts towards being disruptive, even when those efforts don’t materialize into anything significant. Rewarding them for trying encourages them to consistently strive towards disruption. As you are encouraging your team to take risks and push boundaries, it is also imperative that you give them the necessary tools and support they need to be successful.

Thanks to Anup Kayastha, Height Comparison!

#10- Consider creative ideas

Photo Credit: Teri Shern

If you want to encourage your team to be disruptive, you need to create an environment for them whereby they feel that they can be creative. This means inspiring them to think outside of the box and providing them with assistance when they have a good idea that could help your business to be disruptive. There are so many leaders out there who shut down ideas straight away, and it’s a real motivation killer – not to mention a creativity killer.

Thanks to Teri Shern, Conex Boxes!

#11- Get them out of their comfort zone

Photo Credit: Raven Cobb

If your team is stuck in a rut then you need to get them out of their comfort zone and into a disruptive mindset. Here are some ideas on how to do that: 1. Encourage out-of-the-box thinkers. 2. Ask them for new ideas and conversations rather than repeating old ones 3. Offer rewards for risk-taking or a chance to have an idea discussed in front of the team at a meeting 4. Give employees access to resources and support networks ‍so they can take risks without fear of failure ‍‍or embarrassment.

Thanks to Raven Cobb, Clearstep Health!

#12- Offer rewards

Photo Credit: Ronen Ben-Dror

Offering rewards for innovative, amazing ideas is a great way to encourage your staff to be disruptive. Whether working from home or in a traditional office setting, encouraging your team to be disruptive is all about the environment and culture you create. Your standard operating procedures are where you should start. Make sure to specify in your standard operating procedures that you value innovation and disruption. External consultants could offer new, unbiased viewpoints when it comes to embracing change.

Thanks to Ronen Ben-Dror, Blue Valley Marketing!

#13- Give them the tools they need

Photo Credit: Thomas Niemczewski

If you want your team to be disruptive, you need to give them the tools and resources they need to succeed. In order to encourage your team to be disruptive, you need to provide a safe space for them. This can be done by providing them with offices that are in close proximity. You also need to provide them with a budget that is sufficient enough for their needs so that they can make their own decisions about what is necessary for their work.

Thanks to Thomas Niemczewski, Dream Chasers!

#14- Adopt experimentation and accept failure

Photo Credit: Jensen Lee

One of the best ways to encourage your team to be disruptive is by adopting a culture of experimentation and failure. In order to foster a culture that embraces experimentation and failure, it’s important for managers to develop an environment in which people feel safe enough to take risks. This means that employees should feel comfortable asking questions, being curious, and exploring ideas without fear that they will be punished for their mistakes.

Thanks to Jensen Lee, bidetsPLUS!

#15- Create an environment that is disruptive

Photo Credit: Jean Chen

The best way to encourage your team to be disruptive is to create it. Create an office that is disruptive and that starts with you as a leader. The leader will set what kind of office or environment they want. You can start by discriminating all the rules and conditions with your team. The rules should be balanced between work and some time for personal communication. There is time for work, time for jokes, and time to rest. The leaders should stick to this or any rules she/he had by exemplifying them to them.

Thanks to Jean Chen, Cicinia!

#16- Prioritizing training and development

Photo Credit: Simon Elkjær

Prioritizing training and development and encouraging innovation can help your team become more inspired and disruptive. Helping teams realize their full potential by providing them with the right training programs and opportunities can help you unlock new skills and abilities that will help move your company forward. Besides this, it’s also important for leaders to encourage teams to be more innovative.

Thanks to Simon Elkjær, avXperten!

#17- Embrace a growth mindset

Photo Credit: Paige Arnof-Fenn

I encourage my team to embrace a growth mindset and shake up their routines by meeting/talking to new people, reading different blogs, visiting new websites, listening to alternative music genres, eating other ethnic foods, shopping in different neighborhoods, listening to new podcasts and taking new routes home from activities. Basically, you have to open your mind and be exposed to a fresh perspective so you get the synapses firing and connect the dots in new and exciting ways.

Thanks to Paige Arnof-Fenn, Mavens & Moguls!

#18- Removing frictions and never penalize mistakes

Photo Credit: Robin Roy Krigslund-Hansen

In meetings about innovations and for ourselves as senior leaders. What we do to make improvements in our business. The great thing to remove friction is to check what your competitors do to customers as it automatically provides you a great company objective. If we don't take any risk then our business will not run accurately. Then if our employees take any risk no matter what are the outcomes we never penalize them for their mistakes.

Thanks to Robin Roy Krigslund-Hansen, Formula Swiss!

#19- Empathize

Photo Credit: Gavin Johnson

Uncertainty produces stress and changes breeds uncertainty. People may worry about their own and their loved ones' health in addition to their jobs. They may be dealing with interruptions they are not used to if they have just started working from home. It is crucial that you consider these new challenges as a leader. Be kind, ask about your team's lives outside of work, and demonstrate empathy. Be open to their suggestions and give them the opportunity to experiment.

Thanks to Gavin Johnson, Evking!

#20- Facilitate collaborative dialogues

Photo Credit: Kevin Miller

Teams are encouraged to help disrupt industries when they have open spaces to express themselves. Facilitate collaborative dialogues with your teams that allow for open conversation and feedback about company processes, workflow issues, and client best practices. Our company philosophy is to grow a little bit every day, and our employees deserve the same space to grow, both for themselves and to contribute to our business.

Thanks to Kevin Miller, Kevin Miller!

#21- Focus on collaboration

Photo Credit: Jason Cordes

Even highly technical or subject-matter experts who prefer to work alone occasionally enjoy interacting with their coworkers. By recognizing team accomplishments and supporting them in resolving disagreements, you can give them the chance to work together. Additionally, keep an eye out for opportunities to remind the team of its shared objectives. Even lone workers can sense their contribution to the larger strategic picture.

Thanks to Jason Cordes, CocoLoan!

#22- Give them a reason

Photo Credit: Simon Benn

Entrepreneurs and business owners should give employees a reason to care as the fact is when employees aren’t feeling connected to your company then there’s little incentive for them to be innovative so you need to make sure you keep your team in the loop on your firm’s strategies and challenges and invite their input. Similarly, employees who are involved early in processes and plans will be motivated to see them through to completion.

Thanks to Simon Benn, Gentlemen4Hire!

#23- Allow them to challenge authority

Photo Credit: Peter Strahan

Not all CEOs will agree with this statement, but I feel it’s vital. When owning a business, you want to be able to grow positively, and this starts with your team. As a result, your team needs to feel comfortable challenging ideas and opinions that could have a detrimental impact on the business. They are experiencing the business at every level and their opinion should matter to any successful CEO.

Thanks to Peter Strahan, Lantech!

#24- Creating a work culture

Photo Credit: Alex Haley

Encouraging my team member to be disruptive is about creating a work culture, promoting critical thinking, and welcoming amicable work culture. First, I convey my expectations to them. My employees work all day long in the office, from home, or in a hybrid model, complete assignments, and explore unique ways to finish tasks. Critical thinking and sincere consideration have become the order of the day in the company.

Thanks to Alex Haley, YardsNearMe!

#25- Encourage intrapreneurship

Photo Credit: Mila Garcia

Encouraging intrapreneurship within your organization can be one of the most effective ways to push your staff to be more disruptive because it ensures that all employees feel comfortable enough to bring their ideas directly to the company, rather than leaving and starting their own businesses. In this respect, it is often a practical idea to set up an innovation team that works with your staff to refine their ideas and also act as a sounding board.

Thanks to Mila Garcia, iPaydayLoans!

#26- Provide them worthwhile tasks

Photo Credit: Sanket Shah

Provide them with worthwhile tasks, regular coaching, and a tonne of feedback. When the project's ideals align with your own, it is simpler to feel like you have accomplished anything. Ensure learning and professional development Speak with them. The best approach to determine how they want to advance in their jobs is through this. Then, work together to find approaches to address this together while enhancing their marketable abilities.

Thanks to Sanket Shah, InVideo!

#27- Foster a culture of innovation

Photo Credit: Simonas Steponaitis

One way to encourage your team to be disruptive is to foster a culture of innovation. This means creating an environment where new ideas are welcome and encouraged. Encourage your team to brainstorm regularly, and reward creative thinking with praise and recognition. Culture is important, but it's not the only factor – individual motivation is also key. Make sure your team members know that you value innovation and creativity and that you're open to new ideas.

Thanks to Simonas Steponaitis, DoFasting!

#28- Make space for fun

Photo Credit: Deepanshu Bedi

No matter how talented your employees are, they are still susceptible to stress, fatigue, and burnout. If you want to keep your team creative and encourage employee innovation, create and make time for space that nurtures their mind, body, and soul. Encouraging them to participate in activities that promote overall wellness, such as painting classes, mindful meditation, fun runs, and team hikes, invigorate and refresh them for the next wave of tasks.

Thanks to Deepanshu Bedi, Exhalewell!

#29- Encourage their freedom

Photo Credit: Elijah Miller

Encouraging a team to be disruptive is all about encouraging their freedom. Ensuring that there is a space where team members can voice their opinions and suggestions is crucial to developing a team that is disruptive. You want to make sure that they are aware that there are no bad ideas, there are only ideas that fit or don’t. Make sure to keep team morale high at all times, this will nurture the best out of your team.

Thanks to Elijah Miller, RC Ride On Cars!

#30- Discuss the negatives

Photo Credit: Matthew Debbage

Don’t be afraid to discuss the negatives. The best way to encourage your team to be disruptive is to ask hard questions. What could we do better? What ways could we go about improving that? Get your team together regularly to discuss your strengths and weaknesses and trust that they are all capable of bringing fresh and new ideas to the table. Try to remind them that this is a space for creativity and inspiration on a regular basis and watch innovation flow.

Thanks to Matthew Debbage, Creditsafe Asia and Americas!

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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