Whitney Johnson’s HBR article on career change, innovation, and disruption really got me thinking—not just about my disruptive skills (although I am thinking seriously about them), but also about a company’s disruptive ability, or even a document’s disruptive power.
By “disruptive,” Whitney means unique, distinctive, matchless, exclusive. Giving thanks to poetic license for allowing me to treat the word as a noun, I suggest that a “disruptive” is a talent, a power, a feature, or an ability that sets something apart so strongly, so uniquely, that it disrupts and draws attention from competing somethings, be they firms, products, services, or content.
Your “disruptive,” then, is your differentiation, your so-what. And it’s crucial to identify before you start writing, whether for a marketing brochure, a sales proposal, a PowerPoint presentation, a resume or CV, a scholarly article, or even your next blog post.
Your “disruptive” captures attention and tells readers why they should bother reading your piece. Perhaps you’ll find it in a title or headline. Perhaps in an abstract or introductory paragraph. Maybe your “disruptive” will be subtle: An attitude, a voice, or a train of thought that breaks from the ordinary.
Whatever your “disruptive” is, you owe it to yourself and your readers to find it. Bring it to the forefront; shine a spotlight on it. After all, your “disruptive” is what makes you, your product, your service, or your document, outshine all others.
Image Courtesy of Roman Boed at Flickr.com Creative Commons
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Renae Gregoire is a content mentor and clarity expert changing the world one outstanding leader at a time. The coaches, consultants, and experts she works with have big visions for creating transformational change--if only they could create that content! Her work typically involves a blend of strategy and wordsmithing, with a heavy focus on the reader's perspective. Renae is also the creator of the Blog Post Inspiration Deck, the Blog Your Brilliance online program, and the Content Coaching Club.