I’ve turned my car radio from Sports Talk back to NPR (or Capital Public Radio in our town), at least until baseball season starts again. It seems that every morning I get at least one piece to ponder. Yesterday it was an interview about technology innovation in the Sacramento Valley and there one phrase that stayed with me all day. The interviewee, when discussing how he came up with his idea, said, “I had a problem, and an idea, and then I had an opportunity to apply disruptive technology and solve it.” He was discussing the cloud (which I am still working to understand), but the way he organized his words made me think about how we view and manage our own disruptive technology. He said “the opportunity to apply” as if it was a good thing. Go figure.
I spent the day thinking about life’s disruptions. The holidays (seriously, I need to put a giant tree in my house, again?), children who need stuff (their bottoms wiped, school lunches, homework reviewed, new sports uniforms, money for college tuition, plane tickets home), illness (mine and others), partners forgetting to turn off their alarm clocks, or putting away their laundry (not that I am calling anyone out), dogs who need to be fed, walked, and poop scooped, friends and family who call in the middle of a favorite TV show, stormy weather that makes a mess of the yard, newspapers delivered a hour late, cars with empty gas tanks and a blinking “service required” light, disorganized clients, unrewarding projects, a recession that hasn’t figured out that it’s time to be over. You know the list. I am sure you have one too…we all have them.
Each of those things has a flip side…an opportunity to show love, patience, grace. I am often short on all three of those. It’s easy to find the flip side of having children and a dog, but illness? Not so much. At the moment I am in a good space, but there are times when everything in my life feels harder than it should be. Like the universe has conspired to give me daily hurdles, just for fun. But really, it’s an opportunity to change, to view something from a different vantage point. To start fresh. To use what I know, and apply something new.
It’s disruptive technology. And this is my opportunity to apply it.
On my way home from work (ok, on my way home from the new whiskey bar we visited after work, where I applied some disruptive technology, but only had a beer and a salad….ummm, and shared yummy sweet potato fries), I heard the interview again. And there was one more line after “I had an opportunity to apply disruptive technology.” He said, “I would have been a fool not to.”
By the way, I looked up disruptive technology on Wikipedia. I am bending the definition, but I think that’s the point.