The New Rules of Disruption

Charlene Li

To be competitive, it’s no longer enough to be innovative – you must have a strategy for disruptive growth, a plan to identify and seize an opportunity no one else has the audacity or confidence to reach for. Disruptors don’t just blow things up – they also create and build things that result in huge, positive change. Welcome to The New Rules of Disruption with Charlene Li. For the past two decades, Charlene Li has been helping people see the future and thrive with disruption. She couples the ability to look beyond the horizon with pragmatic advice on what actions work today. She helps executives and boards recognize that companies must be disruptive to compete, not just innovate. read less
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ManagementManagement

Episodes

Rule #10 - Embrace the Contradiction of Order and Change
Dec 9 2021
Rule #10 - Embrace the Contradiction of Order and Change
In this episode, we discuss: As humans, we crave order. Order is predictable and comfortable, but it can also become static.On the other side, we crave change. But change and be chaotic and exhausting. Disruptive organizations and their leaders can thrive with change and never get tired from it. So how do they do it? The answer is counterintuitive - the impose order and discipline around the whole process of making change happen. Disruptive leaders embrace the contradiction of order and change by defining how the change will be done. As a result, they don't have to worry about HOW to make a change happen so that they can focus 100% of their time and energy on making the change happen. Embracing the contradiction between ordering change is the new skill needed in leadership.For example, Amazon has a process to create change using a one-page press release from the future and a six-page FAQ document. Change won't happen unless you have the order – the structure, process, and procedures – to create a container for it. Another way to order chaos is to intentionally create liminal space, a place between where you're moving from one state to another. It provides transition time, rituals and ceremonies to mark the end and beginning of things. Rituals become a powerful signal for change – welcoming new people, saying goodbye to departing employees, even graduations and wedding ceremonies signal and support change. The more disruptive the change, the more you must impose order on the chaos. Order and chaos may appear to be canceling each other out but in fact, they strengthen each other.Your ultimate job as a leader is to create this space where order and change can live together,Additional Resources My website: charleneli.comArticle: 3 Ways to Create Order to Encourage Change (Yes, Really!)Article: Ready to organize for disruption? Start here (and now).Want More?Subscribe to my weekly LinkedIn Newsletter Leading Disruption, which features a long-form article, usually related to my livestream early in the week. Please tune in to my weekly Livestream, most Tuesdays at 9 am PT / 12 pm ET on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.Subscribe to my bi-weekly newsletter Disruption Dispatch, which features a short content piece, a quick update of my latest, and Three Good Things (Reads, Referrals, and Resources) to help you on your disruption journey.
Rule #9 - Replace Perfection with Excellence
Dec 9 2021
Rule #9 - Replace Perfection with Excellence
In this episode, we discuss: Many leaders today are frozen by the fear of failure. They believe that they need to be perfect or suffer the consequences. The idea is to practice to make perfect, not practice to make perfect. Leading disruption requires moving from perfect to focusing on being excellent.The order allows leaders to make decisions faster with less data while still maintaining a high level of performance. Experienced CEO Rebecca Macieria-Kaufman shares that excellence is the opposite of perfection because zero error means that you are not learning. She shares examples of pursuing excellence, especially when delivering for clients and customers.When you set the example of how to be excellent, you show the rest of your organization how to move past perfectionism.To practice excellence and gain the benefits from it requires practicing the discipline of excellence in three areas. Make small, fast decisions. Instead of having to have all of the information/data to make the perfect decision, prioritize the "minimally viable data" needed to make the first excellent decision. Have the confidence to reverse decisions. Instead of treating every decision as fixed, remember that most decisions are reversible. Almost every time, you can change your mind and go back. This is the foundational mindset underlying agile methodologies.Set impossible deadlines to spur action. Develop the confidence to make decisions without all of the data in hand. More time doesn't necessarily help you make a better decision -- you just feel better about it. If this seems complicated, try being excellent for the next five minutes. How can you show up as your best self, not your perfect self? What does that look like and mean to you, your team, and your organization to be excellent?Additional Resources My website: charleneli.comThis episode features Rebecca Macieira Kaufman, the author of FitCEO: Be the Leader of Your Life and a former executive at Citibank, talking about how she scaled her leadership. You can listen to the full interview with Rebecca in Episode 9 of this podcast. Want More?Subscribe to my weekly LinkedIn Newsletter Leading Disruption, which features a long-form article, usually related to my livestream early in the week. Please tune in to my weekly Livestream, most Tuesdays at 9 am PT / 12 pm ET on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.Subscribe to my bi-weekly newsletter Disruption Dispatch, which features a short content piece, a quick update of my latest, and Three Good Things (Reads, Referrals, and Resources) to help you on your disruption journey.
Rule #8 - Leverage Digital To Grow Relationships
Dec 2 2021
Rule #8 - Leverage Digital To Grow Relationships
In this episode we discuss: What it means to extend and scale your leadership into digital and virtual spaces. This isn't about the technology -- it's about the relationships you can develop and deepen thanks to digital. Success in digital leadership comes from listening, sharing, and engaging in new ways.Erica Dhawan, the author of Digital Body Language, shares examples of these new ways of working, for example, that "reading carefully is the new listening, writing clearly is the new empathy."Sharing isn't about constantly posting on social media. Rather, it's about sharing the stories that only you can tell that will align people around common goals and objectives. Engage by asking questions that lead to deeper understanding.Additional Resources My website: charleneli.comThis episode features Erica Dhawan, author of Digital Body Language. Learn more about Erica at ericadhawan.com and follower her on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. Video: Watch my livestream interview with Erica Dhawan.  Article: How effective is your digital body language? Let's find out...Want More?Subscribe to my weekly LinkedIn Newsletter Leading Disruption, which features a long-form article, usually related to my livestream early in the week. Tune in to my weekly Livestream, most Tuesdays at 9 am PT / 12 pm ET on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.Subscribe to my bi-weekly newsletter Disruption Dispatch, which features a short content piece, a quick update of my latest, and Three Good Things (Reads, Referrals, and Resources) to help you on your disruption journey.
Rule #7 - Overcome the Resistance to Change
Dec 2 2021
Rule #7 - Overcome the Resistance to Change
In this episode we discuss: My personal experience dealing with the resistance to change due to an overwhelming feeling of shame and embarrassment.A key component of disruptive, transformative leadership is being able to redefine and reframe failure. How we set goals and reward their attainment directly impacts change capacity. Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) are a powerful way to set audacious goals with the full knowledge that you won't hit them. And that's OK!People resist change because they don’t know how to deal with uncertainty.Using scenarios can be a very helpful tool in dealing with uncertainty and providing clarity on the most important things to be done. As a transformative leader, address the fear of uncertainty by anticipating the emotions of change, and erecting trust "scaffolding" to hold space for people. Additional Resources My website: charleneli.comLearn more about OKRS and how they create alignment around strategic initiatives. https://bernardmarr.com/what-are-okrs-a-super-simple-explanation-of-the-objectives-key-results-management-tool/https://felipecastro.com/en/okr/what-is-okr/https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eToFhWEml10https://www.plai.team/blog/50-resources-about-okr-methodology-for-2021Want More?Subscribe to my weekly LinkedIn Newsletter Leading Disruption, which features a long-form article, usually related to my livestream early in the week. Tune in to my weekly Livestream, most Tuesdays at 9 am PT / 12 pm ET on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.Subscribe to my bi-weekly newsletter Disruption Dispatch, which features a short content piece, a quick update of my latest, and Three Good Things (Reads, Referrals, and Resources) to help you on your disruption journey.
Rule #6 - Scale Leadership With Agency
Nov 18 2021
Rule #6 - Scale Leadership With Agency
In this episode we discuss:The idea of agency us that each person has the ability to have a direct impact on the things that are important to them and to act like an owner.Agency is needed to scale your leadership, especially when trying to create disruptive change.Seasoned CEO Rebecca Macieira Kaufman shares how she scaled her leadership at companies like Citibank and Wells Fargo.Example of how Comcast created agency in their call centers. The importance of shifting middle managers from being gatekeepers to facilitators. Why it’s hard to develop a sense of agency in people. Develop and grow agency by putting in place structure, clear guidelines, defining the edges of what is possible. Your job as a disruptive leader is to create and support more leaders to scale your disruptive growth. Additional ResourcesMy website: charleneli.comThis episode features Rebecca Macieira Kaufman, the author of FitCEO: Be the Leader of Your Life and former executive at Citibank talking about how she scaled her leadership. Article: Can Your Employees Answer These Three Questions? (They Should!)Article: 3 Powerful Strategies for Creating Strong Employee RelationshipsWant More?Subscribe to my weekly LinkedIn Newsletter Leading Disruption, which features a long-form article, usually related to my livestream early in the week. Tune in to my weekly Livestream, most Tuesdays at 9 am PT / 12 pm ET on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.Subscribe to my bi-weekly newsletter Disruption Dispatch, which features a short content piece, a quick update of my latest, and Three Good Things (Reads, Referrals, and Resources) to help you on your disruption journey.
Rule #4 - Build Openness And Trust
Nov 11 2021
Rule #4 - Build Openness And Trust
In this episode we discuss: The importance and power of openness in a leadership relationship.How openness creates transparency and accountability. The example of how Nokia used openness to transform itself.How allyship exemplifies the development of openness and trust in organizations by creating safe spaces. How to develop trust by erecting “trust scaffolding” to create and hold space for psychological safety in three stepsFirst step: Take time to check-in.Second step: Address problems in a timely way.Third step: Demand accountabilityAssess your organization's relationship with failure as an indicator of how strong trust is in your organization. Additional ResourcesMy website: charleneli.comThis episode features the former Chairman of the Board of Nokia, Risto Siilasmaa. You can read more about Nokia’s turnaround in Risto’s book Transforming Nokia. And follow Risto on LinkedIn and Twitter. Article: Disruptive Leadership Demands Openness. Why?Article: Why Being Vulnerable Makes You a Stronger LeaderWant More?Subscribe to my weekly LinkedIn Newsletter Leading Disruption, which features a long-form article, usually related to my livestream early in the week. Tune in to my weekly Livestream, most Tuesdays at 9 am PT / 12 pm ET on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.Subscribe to my bi-weekly newsletter Disruption Dispatch, which features a short content piece, a quick update of my latest, and Three Good Things (Reads, Referrals, and Resources) to help you on your disruption journey.
Rule #3 - Recognize The Power Shift
Nov 11 2021
Rule #3 - Recognize The Power Shift
What we discuss in this episode:What are the sources of power and how has that changed.Why connection is the new source of power and why women have a competitive advantage. The power of social media and platforms.Power starts with being in your own power before you can exercise on behalf of an outcome.Why developing agency creates power and action in employees.Why shifts in power create disruption and how to anticipate and plan for them to happen to create disruptive change.How the power of inclusion unleashes greater revenues and profits. Why sharing power is so essential – because if you’re the only person with power, then you’re the only person creating change.Additional ResourcesMy website: charleneli.comThis episode features Sharon Melnick, who has a PhD in clinical psychology and is an executive coach who combines leadership best practices with behavior change methods she developed through 10 years of research at Harvard Medical School. Learn more about Sharon on her website and follow her on LinkedIn. Articles: How Disruptors Build Trust and PowerArticle: How to Let Go of control and Lead with RelationshipsWant More?Subscribe to my weekly LinkedIn Newsletter Leading Disruption, which features a long-form article, usually related to my livestream early in the week. Tune in to my weekly Livestream, most Tuesdays at 9 am PT / 12 pm ET on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.Subscribe to my bi-weekly newsletter Disruption Dispatch, which features a short content piece, a quick update of my latest, and Three Good Things (Reads, Referrals, and Resources) to help you on your disruption journey.
Rule #2 - Start with the Future in Mind
Nov 2 2021
Rule #2 - Start with the Future in Mind
What we discuss in this episode:Why your plan for the future is more important than the future of technologyThe conflict between existing and future customers and how to approach itMala Sharma, GM of Adobe's Creative Cloud, recounts balancing the demands of a market shift with the needs of existing customers Covid-19 compressed 5-7 years of culture/workflow change into 5-7 daysPolitical Movements can be very enlightening on how to inspire belief in others regardless of your politicsLeaders create change by their natureAn effective manifesto is what you observe to be wrong, how you think it could be made better, and what you're going to do about it!I share my personal manifesto.Additional ResourcesMy Website: charleneli.comMore from Mala Sharma: linkedin.com/in/malasharma/Articles: Need to Drive Transformation? Build a Movement.Article: 4 easy-to-implement strategies to future-proof your organizationArticle: You Need a Leadership Manifesto - Write Yours in 10 Minutes (or less!)Want more?Subscribe to my weekly LinkedIn Newsletter Leading Disruption, which features a long-form article, usually related to my livestream early in the week. Tune in to my weekly Livestream, most Tuesdays at 9 am PT / 12 pm ET on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.Subscribe to my bi-weekly newsletter Disruption Dispatch, which features a short content piece, a quick update of my latest, and Three Good Things (Reads, Referrals, and Resources) to help you on your disruption journey.
Rule #1 - Lead Through Relationship
Nov 2 2021
Rule #1 - Lead Through Relationship
What we discuss in this episode:Why I’m passionate about disruption.The three significant pressures impacting leaders today.Perpetual change requires a new set of rules for leadership.What does it mean to be a leader versus the best leaders for whom we’ve ever worked?Leadership is a relationship between those who aspire to create change and people inspired to follow them.Leadership requires practicing followership, defining the type of relationship you want with followers.To be relationship-focused, leaders need to move on from traditional command-and-control models of leadership. Author Gary Bolles gives an example of the new type of relationship needed, that of a leader or manager becoming a guide.Relationships mean that we aim for excellence instead of perfection because no relationship is ever perfect. Additional ResourcesMy Website: charleneli.comThe episode features Gary Bolles, the author of The Next Rules of Work and the chair of The Future of Work at Singularity University. LinkedIn | Website | Book Watch the video interview with Gary Bolles featured in this episode.Article: To Define the Future of work, Always Start with RelationshipsArticle: 3 Powerful Strategies for Creating Stronger Employee RelationshipsWant More?Subscribe to my weekly LinkedIn Newsletter Leading Disruption, which features a long-form article, usually related to my livestream early in the week. Tune in to my weekly Livestream, most Tuesdays at 9 am PT / 12 pm ET on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.Subscribe to my bi-weekly newsletter Disruption Dispatch, which features a short content piece, a quick update of my latest, and Three Good Things (Reads, Referrals, and Resources) to support you on your disruption journey.