The expression “Disruptive Innovation” has been all over the interwebs lately. Are you familiar with the concept?
It was first coined by Clayton Christensen, a Harvard Business School professor. According to Christensen’s website, Disruptive Innovation “describes a process by which a product or service takes root initially in simple applications at the bottom of a market and then relentlessly moves up market, eventually displacing established competitors.”
What are some common disruptors? Well, here are a few that come to mind:
- Cellphones/smartphones disrupted the landline telephone business
- Companies like Über and Lyft have disrupted the taxicab business
- eBooks and eReaders have disrupted libraries, bookstores and newsstands
- Netflix, Hulu and Redbox have disrupted the way we watch TV and movies
These are just a few examples – you’re probably thinking of a dozen others, like the ones featured in this interesting article from Mashable.
Simply put, “disruptive innovation” is all about shaking things up. And I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately, particularly when it comes to the topic of onboarding.
Disruptive onboarding? Hmm. I like the sound of that…..
How can we shake up the new employee experience in our organizations?
Three things to address:
1. The onboarding process itself
Take a good, hard look at your onboarding process. Is it the same process your organization has been using for years? Maybe it’s time to break down the process – from the day the offer is extended through the end of the full onboarding period – whatever that might look like for your organization. Tear it down to the studs and build it back up, if necessary.
2. The tools you use to facilitate the process
This includes technical tools, social media and other facilitation methods for making onboarding a learning experience for your newest team members. Think 70-20-10. Make it active. Help new employees establish relationships. Provide resources for self-directed and formal learning.
3. The value onboarding adds to the organization
What is your value proposition? How are you contributing to your company’s vision, mission, values and strategic business drivers? If you don’t know, find out. Now. And then connect the dots, making the value blatantly obvious for your stakeholders – executives, business partners, hiring managers and the new employees themselves.
Onboarding should not be static. As your organizational landscape evolves, so should your program. In this case, “disruption” is a good thing. Disrupt the status quo – even if it’s done through subtle changes over time! Where could your onboarding program use some disruption?
Your turn: What will the next iteration of your onboarding program be? How will you get there? Share your disruptive ideas in the comments below!
Know some folks who need to disrupt onboarding in their organizations? Be kind and share this post with them!