Government and disruption might not be the sexiest sounding duo, and yet Sam Hannah-Rankin, director of public sector innovation at the Department of Premier & Cabinet, Victoria, had some surefire tips on being the disrupter for the Daze of Disruption conference in Melbourne yesterday.
1. Pain is your friend
Those who want to disrupt industries need to realise there’ll be some pain involved. “Disruption takes a lot more than a good idea,” she said.
Ideas don’t always come from outside the business as well. People inside the business aren’t just sitting there like dumb mullets, Hannah-Rankin said most are aware of what is wrong with a business and why.
“The challenge is how to make things happen,” she said.Companies need to “find the suffering” in the business and figure out how to fix the suffering.
2. Build the new
This point is about “not fighting the old, but building the new”. It’s not about trying to change everything or constantly be building new things, rather picking the battles which a company believes it can do properly.
If you try and do all the battles, said Hannah-Rankin, you’re going to explode.
3. Fireworks and fire
Hannah-Rankin is all about starting fires. Not in the literal sense, of course, but rather seeing ideas that start small and take a bit of work, but then suddenly surge with momentum and developing into something huge.
4. Never Fail
While the phase ‘fail fast’ is thrown around the industry like a hot potato, Hannah-Rankin doesn’t believe in failing. Rather, it’s about ‘find out fast’. It’s also about being very clear what you’re testing for, and figuring out quickly whether it’s going to work or not,
5. Don’t get pickled
When you enter an organisation, you’re a gloriously fresh cucumber, however the trap within business is to end up becoming pickled with the rest of the cucumbers in the jar, all being the same, having the same ideas and losing your freshness.
“The challenge really is to stay fresh,” said Hannah-Rankin, adding people should show they’re bringing external knowledge into the organisation.
“That’s where an organisation should prioritise if they want to change things internally.”